Monday, March 05, 2012

PANAMA CITY (AP) - Edward Loar won the Panama Championship on Sunday for first Nationwide Tour title, holing a 6-foot par putt on the final hole for a 4-over 74 and a one-stroke victory over four players.

The 34-year-old left-hander, four strokes ahead entering the final round in 92-degree heat, survived a triple-bogey 7 on the seventh hole and had only two birdies in the final round - the last on the par-4 16th.

``Yeah, I was nervous,'' Loar said. ``It was the first time in a while that I'd been in the lead, especially on a stage like this. I think anybody that said they weren't is crazy. On a course like this anything can happen as it's shown all week. Unfortunately, it came up and bit me a couple of times.''

The 6-foot-4 former Oklahoma State player finished at 4-under 276 and earned $99,000 for his first tour victory since winning the Asian Tour's 2003 Thailand Open and 2004 Korean Open. A rookie on the PGA Tour this year, he will play in the Puerto Rico Open next week.

``I really haven't played that good out here,'' Loar said. ``Hopefully, this will give me some gratification that I actually belong out here.''

Cameron Percy, Ryan Armour, Luke List and Brian Smock tied for second. Percy finished with a 67, Armour and List shot 68, and Smock had a 69.

Loar three-putted the par-3 sixth hole for a bogey, then pushed his tee shot into the water on the seventh and three-putted for the triple bogey.

``The triple was just bad shots followed by bad shots,'' Loar said. ``I was thinking I was glad I had a four-shot lead to start with. I obviously let a lot of people back in the tournament.''

Needing a par on the 465-yard 18th to avoid a playoff, Loar clipped a tree with his drive, leaving him 240 yards to the pin.

``I just tried to put myself in a place where I could get it up and down,'' he said. ``I didn't think I had a chance for the green. I just hit a really good chip shot.''

He won with the 6-foot putt.

``I just tried to stick to my routine and I hit it right in the middle,'' he said. ``I really struggled. I had pretty good control and then a couple of slip ups, followed by another slip-up and all of a sudden it was tight and I really had to fight and dig deep. I made some unbelievable up and downs coming in to win this tournament.''

You May Like