Carter Comes from Behind to Win


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Tom Carter erased a three-stroke deficit Sunday with a 7-under 65 to win the Price Cutter Charity Championship by one stroke. Carter's total of 21-under-par 267 ties the tournament scoring record.
Roland Thatcher fired an 8-under 64 Sunday to climb into a tie for second place at 20-under-par 268, where he was joined by overnight co-leader Doug LaBelle II.
Carter, who won the Canadian PGA Championship six weeks ago, opened with a birdie at the first hole at Highland Springs Country Club. He birdied the par-3 fourth to get to 16 under for the tournament.
He capped his front nine scoring with a birdie at the par-4 seventh. Around the turn, he kept things going.
Carter took care of both par-5s on the back side starting at the 11th. There he got up-and-down from a bunker for birdie to climb to 18 under. He then birdied back-to-back par-3s at 13 and 15 to move into a four-way tie for the lead.
Thatcher, Stephen Gangluff and LaBelle were are all at minus-20. Thatcher was in the clubhouse after an eagle at the par-5 18th, while Gangluff and LaBelle were in the final pairing five groups behind Carter.
Carter birdied the 18th to climb to minus-21. After no one else could get to minus-21, the title was his. He tied the tournament scoring record, first set by Anthony Painter in 1998.
'The first win seemed to elude me so many times,' said Carter, a Temple University alum. 'I felt so much more patient this time around.'
Carter moves into third place on the Nationwide Tour money list, virtually guaranteeing that he will get his PGA Tour card for next year.
'I've been working my whole life to get to the PGA Tour,' said Carter, who earned $94,500 for the win. 'I told my buddy I was going to at least have to send in my Q-School application. But this win takes care of that.'
Carter joins Guy Boros and Joe Ogilvie as two-time winners this season. If any of the three were to gain his third title in the final 11 events, he would gain the automatic Battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour.
LaBelle had been at 21-under after an eagle at the par-5 11th, but bogeys at 12 and 14 dropped him to minus-19.
LaBelle, who had three birdies in his first seven holes, had also bogeyed the 10th prior to his eagle. He did climb back into a share of second with a birdie at the last.
'It was a good week. I just couldn't get the job done on the back nine,' said LaBelle. 'The bogey on No. 14 really sticks out in my mind. I knew I needed eagle on 18, but I just had a hard time getting the ball to the hole all day.'
Thatcher started his round five strokes behind the leaders. However he quickly climbed the leaderboard with birdies at Nos. 1 and 3. He sank back-to-back birdies from the fifth and drained his fifth birdie of the day at the par-5 eighth.
Around the turn, Thatcher kept rolling with a birdie at the 11th. He settled down to par six straight holes but eagled the 18th to give himself a chance, but Carter's strong finish was just too much.
'I'm real happy with the way I played,' Thatcher said. 'I knew I had to get to 21 or 22 under to have a chance to win. I hit a lot of good shots on the back nine, but just couldn't get the ball in the hole.'
Gangluff managed just a 2-under 70 on Sunday. He shared fourth place with Keoke Cotner, Craig Bowden and Trevor Dodds 19-under-par 269.
First-round leader Scott Gutschewski finished at 18-under-par 67. He was joined there by Rich Barcelo, David Branshaw, Jason Dufner and Franklin Langham.
Related Links:
  • Bio - Tom Carter
  • Full Coverage - Price Cutter Charity Championship
  • Price Cutter Charity Championship Leaderboard