Sunday, May 18, 2008

GREER, S.C. (AP) David Mathis won the BMW Charity Pro-Am on Sunday for his first Nationwide Tour title, closing with a 3-under 68 for a three-stroke victory over Roger Tambellini, while Wayne Gretzky teamed with Chris Nallen to win the Pro-Am title.

The 34-year-old Mathis told his wife at the start of the week that he thought he was going to win.

"I just felt like I was going to win," Mathis said. "I've gone into weeks where I was playing well enough to win, but this week felt different. I thought if I made the shots I needed to make and hole some putts that I'd be in this spot."

He finished at 20-under 266 and earned $121,500 and a BMW X5. He jumped from 44th to fourth on the money list with $166,479, with the top 25 at the end of the year earning 2009 PGA Tour cards.

"It's everything I imagined," Mathis said. "I never thought it wouldn't happen. I thought my game was progressing and I could see improvement in my game. That helped me a great deal with my confidence."

Mathis opened with a 65 at The Carolina Country Club, shot another 65 on Friday at Bright's Creek Golf Club, then closed with consecutive 68s at the Thornblade Club.

Tambellini finished with a 65.

Gretzky and Nallen shot 59-59-60-62 to finish the better-ball competition at 46 under, two shots ahead of musician Javier Colon and Colt Knost.

"I had a blast. I played with the best hockey player ever," said Nallen, a New York Rangers fan who tied for 18th in the regular tournament. "I left a few shots out there but overall I'm very pleased with the way we played."

Gretzky earned a BMW Z4 and will have $10,000 donated to the charity of his choice. He remains one win behind his wife, Janet Jones-Gretzky, who has twice been the low celebrity over the past four years.

"No. No bragging rights," Gretzky said. "We weren't playing to win, we were just playing to have fun. This is a great tournament and we're looking forward to next year."

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