Bob Estes, perennial PGA Tour good guy, played the roll of heavy in the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Going head-to-head with John Daly, who used to own a house on the TPC at Southwind course, Estes snapped a seven-year winless streak by shooting an even-par 71 to earn his second career tour title.
Bob Estes talks about his win
Both of Estes victories have come in wire-to-wire fashion. He opened in 62 en route to winning the 1994 Texas Open and shot 61 Thursday at the FedEx.
'I guess that's the only way I can do it now,' joked Estes, who won $630,000. 'Now I know I have to get off to a good start every week if I hope to win more tournaments.'
In the end, Estes biggest opponents proved to be his nerves and Bernhard Langer. Langer, who hasnt won on the PGA Tour since the 1993 Masters, carded a 6-under-par 66 to finish one shot off the winning total of 17-under-par 267.
Estes started the day with a one-shot lead over Daly, who was coming off a record-tying round of 63.
A Daly bogey at the par-4 1st gave Estes an early two-shot advantage. However, Daly eagled the par-5 5th to pull even at 18-under.
Thats when things began to fall apart for the 35-year-old.
Dalys tee shot on the par-4 7th nestled against a pinecone in the right rough. Rather than risk taking a two-stroke penalty ' which would be enforced if the ball moved while moving the obstruction ' Daly blasted his second shot into the left rough some 60 yards short of the green. He eventually carded a bogey.
Down one, Daly endured a two-shot swing at the par-4 9th when he recorded a bogey while Estes racked up a birdie.
Another bogey ensued at the par-3 11th as Dalys tee shot bounced over the green and into the water hazard.
Once he bogeyed the 12th ' his fourth bogey in six holes ' Daly fell five shots back of Estes and out of contention.
Estes was cruising along on the back nine until he recorded just his second bogey of the tournament at the par-4 14th.
What was a four-shot lead was down to three. It quickly dwindled to just one.
Estes carded his second straight bogey at the 15th while Langer birdied the par-5 16th to pull within one of the lead at 16-under-par.
Langer then parred his way into the clubhouse to post a score of 16-under 268.
'He did extremely well,' Langer said of Estes. 'It's tough to lead all four days with the stuff that's going on. He had a brilliant round on Thursday and was in the lead the whole week.'
After a shaky par at the 16th, Estes steadied himself by sinking a six-foot par putt at the par-4 17th.
Up one with one to play, Estes stiffed his approach shot on the par-4 finishing hole to five feet. He missed the birdie putt but tapped in for par.
'I made it a little tougher than I meant to. I wanted a four- to five-stroke cushion coming down the stretch,' Estes said. 'You only got to win by one, don't you?'
News, Notes and Numbers
*Estes joins Jesper Parnevik (Honda Classic) as the only wire-to-wire winners on tour this season.
*2001 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Curtis Strange shot a 2-under-par 69 in the final round to tie for 5th place. Its the 46-year-olds first top-10 finish on tour since 1997.
*John Dalys tie for fifth is his best finish since a tie for fourth in the 1998 Nissan Open.
*Nick Price shot 67 on Sunday to tie for 8th with Parnevik. Price will now head to the U.S. Open at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla. Price was the last man to win a major at Southern Hills, doing so in the 1994 PGA Championship.
Full-field scores from the FedEx St. Jude Classic