MacKenzie wins Viking Classic

MacKenzie wins Viking Classic

MADISON, Miss.(AP) To Will MacKenzie, a win at the Viking Classic was about a lot more than the $648,000 winner’s purse.

“I want to keep my card,” said MacKenzie, who along with a host of others have seven tournaments to lock up an exemption for next year. “But ultimately, I want to win. I am a winner. I won on the mini tours. I won on the second year on tour. And I believe I can win.”

MacKenzie came from six strokes back Sunday to birdie the par-5 18th three straight times and win his second PGA Tour victory in a playoff.

“I felt a little funky early and then toward the middle of my round I started feeling really good again,” MacKenzie said. “I got my rhythm back and started feeling confident.”

MacKenzie beat Marc Turnesa on the second playoff hole after Brian Gay dropped out on the first extra hole.

MacKenzie stayed alive with a two-putt birdie from 59 feet, while Turnesa sank an 11-footer.

At the second extra hole, MacKenzie hit the green in two and Turnesa needed three shots. MacKenzie two-putted from 63 feet for another birdie, and won when Turnesa missed his 18-footer.

“I wasn’t going to let my blunder yesterday get me down,” MacKenzie said.

MacKenzie, who lost the third-round lead after a triple bogey on 18 that included two penalty strokes, birdied three of the last four holes of regulation for a 4-under 68 to match Turnesa (70) and Gay (68) at 19-under 269 on the Annandale course.

Also the 2006 Reno-Tahoe Open winner, MacKenzie earned $648,000, which boosted him to 97th on the money list with $883,997.

“With the tour exemption you go to Maui, and I love going to Maui,” MacKenzie said. “We will go early.”

Turnesa took the lead into the par-4 17th, but dropped back with a double bogey.

“I played well most of the day until that 17th hole,” Turnesa said. “I made a mistake there that cost me the tournament.”

Steve Allan (66), Bill Haas (68) and Casey Wittenberg (69) tied for fourth at 16 under.

Turnesa, a PGA rookie whose best finish this year was a tie for 22nd, ranked 169th on the money list with $263,000, going into the tournament. His second-place finish paid $316,800, boosting him to $580,052 and a tie for 130 on the money list.

The 125th spot is $645,466.

“I have work to do,” said Turnesa, who planned to play in the final six tournaments of the year. But his finish at the Viking Classic at least provided a spring board, he said.

“I guess I can play out here,” Turnesa said. “I have played well, so, you know, I learned I can play with anybody out there. I just cam up short this time.”

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