LAS VEGAS(AP) Marc Turnesa completed a wire-to-wire victory for his first PGA Tour title, closing with a 4-under 68 on Sunday to hold off Matt Kuchar by a stroke in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The fourth rookie to win on the PGA Tour this season, Turnesa opened with rounds of 62, 64 and 69 at TPC Summerlin en route to a tournament-record 25-under 263 total. He earned a career-best $738,000 to jump from 138th to 75th on the money list.
Turnesa birdied Nos. 9, 11, 12 and 14 to reach 25 under on the mostly sunny, breezy day. He also birdied the par-3 17th, but dropped a stroke on the par-4 18th.
“I only won by a shot, so obviously every birdie I made was important,” said Turnesa, the 30-year-old former North Carolina State star who broke the event mark of 23-under 264 set last year by George McNeill.
Kuchar finished with a 64.
Former UNLV star Chad Campbell shot a 67 to tie for third at 22 under with John Mallinger (68) and 49-year-old Michael Allen (70). Tim Herron (62) and Davis Love III (67) followed at 21 under in the Fall Series event.
Kuchar, the second-round co-leader who began the final round at 19 under, birdied the par-5 13th and par-3 14th to take the lead at 24 under, but finished with four straight pars to fall a stroke back.
“It started playing hard on the last couple holes,” Kuchar said. “The wind really started picking up. Fifteen and 16 are definitely birdie holes that I missed opportunities on. But into the wind with some tough pins, I’m just not quite long enough (on the par-4 15) to get quite all the way there into the wind.
“Sixteen, had a layup. It was certainly an opportunity from 110 yards. I missed one short putt on the first hole – about a 6-footer for birdie. Other than that, I played some pretty solid golf.”
Turnesa, the 2007 Miccosukee Championship winner on the Nationwide Tour, also led after three rounds last month in the Viking Classic, but made a late double bogey and ended up losing to Will MacKenzie on the second hole of a playoff.
“It was disappointing. But you know what, I did the best I could and it didn’t work out. The same thing could have easily happened here today,” Turnesa said. “You just got to get over it and move on. There’s tournaments every week out here and you just got to take the positive out of it and move on.”
Turnesa is part of a famous golf family. His great-uncle, Jim, won the 1952 PGA Championship, and his grandfather, Mike, was a six-time winner on the PGA Tour who finished second to Ben Hogan in the 1948 PGA Championship.
Mike was one of seven brothers, six of whom played on PGA Tour. One of those, Joe, was a 15-time PGA Tour winner. The only brother who didn’t turn professional was Willie, the 1938 and 1948 U.S. Amateur champion and 1947 British Amateur winner.
“I don’t really feel like I’m carrying on a name,” Turnesa said. “I guess I am without even thinking about it. I’m just trying to play golf as best I can and that’s all I can really do.”