FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Jay Williamson shot a 7-under 63 in the final round Sunday of the Fort Smith Classic to earn his first Nationwide Tour victory by a stroke.
The 40-year-old Williamson posted his fourth straight round in the 60s (69-66-66-63) and finished at 16-under 264 on the Hardscrabble Country Club course to edge Justin Bolli (70) and Garrett Willis (66).
“This means a ton,” said Williamson, a PGA Tour veteran making his 60th start on the Nationwide Tour. “Seeing your name on top of the leaderboard is always a nice thing. I just turned 40 and this really isn’t a tour for 40-year-olds. Obviously winning is a tremendous boost to my career.”
Williamson played the final 53 holes without a bogey.
“I played well all week,” said Williamson, who hit 12 of 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation. “I finally played well on Sunday, too. I’ve had three or four opportunities this year on Sunday to, not necessarily win, but make a good check, and I haven’t been able to capitalize. It feels good to finally get it done.”
The win was worth $94,500 for Williamson.
Bolli had entered the final round with a three-stroke lead, but couldn’t get anything going early, making five straight pars out of the gate and an even-par 35 on the front nine. A birdie on the par-3 17th hole temporarily moved him into a tie with Williamson, but an errant approach shot into a greenside bunker led to a disappointing bogey on the final hole.
The runner-up finish was the second in three weeks for the Oregon native who played his college golf at Georgia. He also finished second at the Athens Regional Foundation Classic.
“I was trying to get aggressive from the fairway,” Bolli said. “I wanted to stick it on the last hole and win the tournament. Today was win or bust, especially after starting with a three-shot lead. I have no regrets, it was just bad execution.”
Williamson said he was looking forward to delivering a gift to his daughter, Whitney, when he gets home.
“My little girl is 7 and all she has wanted is a trophy,” he said. “I’m glad I did that for her this week.”