Watney Captures Tour Championship

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Nationwide Tour ChampionshipPRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Nick Watney collected two late birdies on Sunday en route to a 3-under 69 and his victory at the Nationwide Tour Championship. He finished at 15-under-par 273 and won by two over Brett Wetterich in the season finale.
 
Wetterich posted a 2-under 70 on Sunday, but his second-place finish gave him $67,500 and moved him inside the top-20 on the final money list. Those in the top-20 after this event receive their PGA Tour cards for the 2005 campaign.
 
'For a while I was struggling mentally,' admitted Wetterich, who was the only player to crack the top-20 this week. 'I got to a point where I was just wanting to make pars. That's not good. I made a birdie and that loosened me up.'
 
Wetterich will be joined on the PGA Tour next year by Jimmy Walker, D.A. Points, Ryuji Imada, Franklin Langham, Euan Walters, Brendan Jones, James Driscoll, Charles Warren, Justin Bolli, Paul Gow, Bradley Hughes, Kevin Stadler, Darron Stiles, Hunter Haas, Scott Gutschewski, Michael Long, Gavin Coles, Chris Anderson and Watney.
 
Kyle Thompson had a chance to make into the top-20, but his approach at 18 spun back to 50 feet. His birdie chance came up 7 feet short and he missed the par putt.
 
That bogey dropped him into a share of 10th and that was not enough to get him his card.
 
'I hit a pretty good shot,' said Thompson, referring to his approach at 18. 'That's the story of my whole year. I should have made $300,000 this year, instead I'm going to be just short. It's just driving me crazy.'
 
Watney, a Nationwide Tour rookie this season, shared the third-round lead with Bolli, but Bolli went down the leaderboard. Watney mixed three birdies and a bogey on the front nine to take a commanding lead around the turn.
 
Watney dropped a shot at 12 and Wetterich came charging up the board with birdies at 11 and 15. The birdie at 15 knotted Watney and Wetterich atop the leaderboard, but Watney answered.
 
At the 15th, Watney ran home a 7-footer for birdie to go one ahead of Wetterich. Watney added another birdie at the 16th and when Wetterich, playing two groups ahead of Watney, bogeyed 18, the tournament was Watney's.
 
He parred his remaining two holes for his first victory on the Nationwide Tour.
 
'It was a tough day,' said Watney. 'I'm very happy and relieved.'
 
Watney was 33rd on the money list two weeks ago, but a runner-up finish last week at the Miccosukee Championship and this victory allowed him to come in fifth on the final money list.
 
'I dreamed about it and wished it,' admitted Watney. 'It was more than I expected the last two weeks. I wasn't really sure. I'm looking forward to next year.'
 
Langham (68) and Jason Caron (66) shared third place at 11-under-par 277. Stadler (73), Bolli (74), Nathan Green (72), Brandt Snedeker (67) and Mathew Goggin (70) tied for fifth at minus-10.
 
Thompson (72), Stiles (70) and Jason Schultz (68) shared 10th place at minus- 9.
 
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