Molder Gets First Nwide Win

RSS

2006 Miccosukee ChampionshipMIAMI, Fla. -- Bryce Molder birdied three holes in a row down the stretch Sunday en route to a 3-under 68 and his first win at the Nationwide Tour at the Miccosukee Championship. He finished at 14-under-par 270 for a one-shot win over Boo Weekley.
 
'That felt pretty good,' said Molder, who pocketed $90,000 for the victory. 'It's been a long time since I've won a golf tournament. You take things for granted.'
 
Molder was pegged by most to be a PGA TOUR star after becoming one of four players in Division I history to be a four-time, first-team All American at Georgia Tech.
 
That certainly did not happen as Sunday's win was the first for the 27-year-old, and it was an important one. He moved to 21st on the Nationwide Tour money list, and the top 20 players after the Nationwide Tour Championship in two weeks earn PGA TOUR cards for 2007.
 
'I'll look forward to the challenge in a couple of weeks,' acknowledged Molder. 'If I play well, great. If I don't, then that's fine. I'm learning a lot.'
 
Weekley had a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Miccosukee Golf and Country Club, but missed. He also shot a 3-under 68 to finish in second at minus-13.
 
Jason Dufner posted a 5-under 66 early on Sunday and watched as both Molder and Weekley passed him. Dufner took third place at 12-under-par 272.
 
Since this was the final full-field event before the Nationwide Tour Championship, it was the last chance for players to move into the top-62 on the money list and gain entry to the field.
 
Cameron Beckman began the week in 71st place on the money list. He carded a 2-under 69 on Sunday and tied for fourth place with Cliff Kresge (70) and Tim O'Neal (72). The trio came in at minus-11.
 
Beckman earned enough for his share of fourth place to move into the top 62. Gary Christian started the week one spot out of the Nationwide Tour Championship field, but a tie for 10th was enough for him to move inside the number.
 
Chez Reavie and Jason Caron were knocked out of the top 62.
 
Molder was already safely in the field in two weeks, but faced the task of winning for the first time. He did not do much early on with a birdie at nine and a bogey at the 11th.
 
Luckily for Molder, no one in the field got too far ahead of him. He had close to 30 feet for eagle at the 14th and as the ball veered toward the hole, Molder raised his arms in celebration. Unfortunately, the ball lipped out of the hole and Molder settled for a tap-in birdie and a share of the lead with Dufner and Weekley at 12 under par.
 
Weekley took the lead next with a 5-foot birdie putt at the 16th. Molder answered with an awesome approach shot to 2 feet from the rough at 15. He kicked in a short birdie putt to match Weekley at minus-13.
 
Weekley saved a nice par at the 17th when his 45-foot birdie putt ran 6 feet past the hole. Molder, in the group behind Weekley, played another amazing second shot, this time at 16. He rolled in the 2-footer for birdie, and when Weekley two-putted from 12 feet at 18, Molder only needed par at the last to win.
 
Molder hit his approach close to where Weekley was earlier. Molder narrowly missed his birdie chance, but tapped in for par and the win.
 
Molder played the best in the end, but Weekley committed a critical error. After the round, he acknowledged he did not look at leaderboards and though his putt on 18 was to win the championship.
 
'It's aggravating,' said Weekley. 'I looked at the boards one time on the back side and that was when I walked off 15. I didn't know that last putt was to tie.'
 
Overnight leader Chad Collins struggled on Sunday. He shot a 3-over 74 and tied for seventh with Matt Kuchar (66) and Stephen Marino (68) at 10-under-par 274.
 
Christian was joined in 10th place by Parker McLachlin (66) and Darron Stiles (69).
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - Miccosukee Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes