PANAMA CITY ' Edward Loar won the Panama CLARO Championship on Sunday for his first Nationwide Tour title, holing a 6-foot par putt on the final hole for a 4-over 74 and a one-stroke victory over four players.
The 34-year-old left-hander, four strokes ahead entering the final round in 92-degree heat, survived a triple-bogey 7 on the seventh hole and had only two birdies in the final round'the last on the par-4 16th.
Yeah, I was nervous, Loar said. It was the first time in a while that Id been in the lead, especially on a stage like this. I think anybody that said they werent is crazy. On a course like this anything can happen as its shown all week. Unfortunately, it came up and bit me a couple of times.
The 6-foot-4 former Oklahoma State player finished at 4-under 276 and earned $99,000 for his first tour victory since winning the Asian Tours 2003 Thailand Open and 2004 Korean Open. A rookie on the PGA Tour this year, he will play in the Puerto Rico Open next week.
I really havent played that good out here, Loar said. Hopefully, this will give me some gratification that I actually belong out here.
Loar three-putted the par-3 sixth hole for a bogey, then pushed his tee shot into the water on the seventh and three-putted for the triple bogey.
The triple was just bad shots followed by bad shots, Loar said. I was thinking I was glad I had a four-shot lead to start with. I obviously let a lot of people back in the tournament.
Needing a par on the 465-yard 18th to avoid a playoff, Loar clipped a tree with his drive, leaving him 240 yards to the pin.
I just tried to put myself in a place where I could get it up and down, he said. I didnt think I had a chance for the green. I just hit a really good chip shot.
He won with the 6-foot putt.
I just tried to stick to my routine, and I hit it right in the middle, he said. I really struggled. I had pretty good control and then a couple of slip-ups, followed by another slip-up, and all of a sudden it was tight, and I really had to fight and dig deep. I made some unbelievable up-and-downs coming in to win this tournament.