GLEN ALLEN, Va. (AP) — Australia’s Nick Flanagan won his first Nationwide Tour title Sunday, beating Canada’s Chris Baryla with a 2-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff in the Henrico County Open.
Flanagan, the 2003 U.S. Amateur champion, shot a 2-under 70 to match Baryla (70), Bryn Parry (71) and Roland Thatcher (71) at 13-under 275 on The Dominion Club course. Parry was eliminated on the first extra hole, and Thatcher dropped out on the second.
“I’m very happy to perform well under pressure,” said Flanagan, who hit 11 of 14 fairways in regulation and needed just 26 putts in his final round. “One of my goals this year was to win early.
“I’ve come close a couple of times, but this was definitely my best opportunity. I think I always knew it was going to happen. It was just a matter of when. To do it in my second year on tour is awesome.”
Flanagan earned $81,000 to jump to eighth on the money list with $112,077. The top 25 at the end of the season will earn 2008 PGA Tour cards.
“I’m just trying to get to the PGA Tour and I’ve found that it is not an easy thing to do,” Flanagan said. “But this definitely helps the cause. I’ve been taking baby steps … and the Nationwide Tour has helped me get my game to the level it needs to be to compete on the PGA Tour.
“This is a great weight off of my shoulders. I’ve never really put all that much pressure on myself to win but it’s something that I wanted to do really bad. Some thought I turned pro too early, so this justifies that decision. I’m still only 22 years old. Hopefully, there will be plenty more of these to come.”
Chris Smith (68), Greg Chalmers (69) and Brad Elder (70) tied for fifth, a stroke out of the playoff.