MIAMI (AP) — Marc Turnesa won the Miccosukee Championship for his first Nationwide Tour title, closing with a 1-under 70 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over David Mathis and Canadian Jon Mills in the final full-field event of the year
Turnesa earned $103,500 to jump from 43rd to 13th on the money list with $235,158, locking up a 2008 PGA Tour card with just the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship left. The final top 25 will earn PGA Tour cards.
“It feels great to lock up my card,” said Turnesa, who shot a 69 on Sunday morning in the rain-delayed third round. “I’ve known for weeks that if I won I was going to the PGA Tour. You can’t help but think about those things when you’re out there.”
The 29-year-old former North Carolina State player star is the grandson of six-time PGA Tour winner Mike Turnesa and great nephew of 1952 PGA winner Jim Turnesa. Another great uncle, Joe, won 15 times on the PGA Tour.
“It is nice to come through for the Turnesa name,” said Turnesa, a Connecticut native. “It means a lot to me. This is what I needed to do to get out there on the PGA Tour where they all played.”
He had a 15-under 269 total in the storm-plagued event at the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club course. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their balls in the fairways during all four rounds.
“Today was a long day,” said Turnesa, who began the final round with bogeys on his first two holes before getting the strokes back with an eagle on the par-5 fifth. “It wears on you, but when it is time to play golf you have to be ready to play golf. I did that this week and I couldn’t be happier.”
Turnesa made things interesting on the final hole. He began the par-4 18th with a two-stroke lead over Mills and Mathis, but his tee shot found the water hazard and his approach ended up in the front greenside bunker. He came through, however, holing a 5-footer for bogey and the one-stroke win.
“I don’t think playing 36 holes affected me, but the fact that I was playing the 72nd hole may have,” Turnesa said. “I was really nervous. But it is great to come out on top. That is the goal we’re all out here trying to achieve. I’ve been out here all year trying to win, so it feels good to get it done in the last tournament.”
Mathis closed with a 64, and Mills had a 70. They each earned $50,600, with Mathis moving from 76th to 47th with $127,807 to secure a spot in two weeks in the Nationwide Tour Championship, limited to the top 60. Mills is third with $363,161.
Kelly Grunewald was the only other player to jump into the top 60, going from 67th to 55th. Chris Riley and Joe Daley dropped out of the top 60.