Monday, June 30, 2008

CLARKSBURG, Ontario (AP) — Justin Hicks, the co-leader after the first round of the U.S. Open, won the Wayne Gretzky Classic on Sunday for his first Nationwide Tour title, beating Casey Wittenberg with a two-putt par on the first hole of a playoff.

"I don't know if I can put this into words," the 33-year-old Hicks said. "I grew up playing hockey for about five or six years before I quit to take up golf. To be able to win the tournament hosted by the greatest player to ever skate on ice is such an honor and something I'll never forget."

The Michigan native closed with a 2-under 69 on the Georgian Bay Club course to match Wittenberg (70) at 16-under 269. Hicks earned $144,017 to jump from 160th to 13th the money list with $152,481. The final top 25 will earn PGA Tour cards.

In the U.S. Open, Hicks ended up tying for 74th at Torrey Pines, following his opening 68 with rounds of 80, 75 and 78.

"As nervous as I was today, if I hadn't gone through what I went through at Torrey Pines, I would have been a mess today," Hicks said.

Garrett Osborn (62) and Peter Tomasulo (63) tied for third, a stroke back.

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