MIAMI – Chad Collins won the Miccosukee Championship for his second career Nationwide Tour title, closing with a 1-under 70 in windy conditions Sunday for a two-stroke victory in the final full-field event of the season.
The 31-year-old Collins, also the 2005 Henrico County Open winner, had a 10-under 274 total on the Miccosukee Golf and Country Club course. He earned $112,500 to jump from eighth to second on the money list with $386,014, with the top 25 next week after the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship earning 2010 PGA Tour cards.
“It’s nice to get one, finally,” Collins said. “Winning is awesome. It never gets old. It’s nice to win again. I was wondering if I would ever win again.”
Collins holed a 35-foot birdie chip on No. 15, then bogeyed 16 and 17 before finishing with a 30-foot birdie putt on 18.
“I was just trying to cozy it down there,” Collins said. “I guess my nerves got the best of me and I hit it too hard. I don’t know how far past it would have gone, but I’m sure I would have missed that one coming back. Luckily, the hole got in the way.”
He has five top-five finishes, including three seconds, in his last eight starts.
“I didn’t hit the ball exceptionally well, but I did make a lot of up-and-downs,” Collins said. “My putter did its job this week. I made a lot of those 3- and 4-footers for par that you need to make.”
Won Joon Lee (71), Brian Smock (71) and Monday qualifier Justin Smith (72) tied for second at 8 under, and Fabian Gomez (71) and Bradley Iles (71) followed at 7 under.
The top 60 on the money list qualified for the Nationwide Tour Championship next week at Daniel Island Club in Charleston, S.C.
Darren Stiles, 67th entering the week, edged Michael Sims by $2,145 for the 60th and last spot. Stiles (73) tied for 12th at 4 under, and Sims (76) tied for 17th at 3 under. Lee jumped from 73rd to 47th, and Smock went from 64th to 41st.
Michael Sim tied for 17th to earn $9,062 and push his tour-record total to $536,142. He has three victories this year.