Wetterich Hangs on for Victory


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Brett Wetterich struggled on Sunday but managed a 1-under 71 to win the Envirocare Utah Classic by one stroke over two players. Wetterich completed the tournament at 16-under-par 272.
'I never thought that if I shot one-under today that it would do the job,' said Wetterich, who earned $81,000 for the win. 'I wanted to shoot 3 under and I thought I'd be okay.'
Ryuji Imada (67) and Franklin Langham (66) both put pressure on Wetterich, but ended in a tie for second at 15-under-par 273. Bubba Watson, Doug Barron and David McKenzie were one stroke further back at minus-14.
Wetterich got off to a hot start with birdies at the first and second to pad his lead. However, he tripped to a bogey at the third to slip back to 16- under. The two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour settled down to post five straight pars.
The 2003 Louisiana Open winner dropped another stroke at the ninth. Wetterich came back around the turn, however. He birdied the par-5 12th at Willow Creek Country Club to climb back into red figures for his round.
Wetterich moved back to minus-17 with a birdie at the 14th, which gave him a two-stroke cushion heading to the final four holes. He tripped to another bogey at 16, but parred the final two holes for the win.
'I was starting to get a little nervous coming into this week and previous weeks,' said Wetterich, who jumps from 40th to 14th on the Nationwide Tour money list. 'I thought it was time to start making a move, having some good tournaments and making a few good checks.'
Wetterich played the par-5s solidly on Saturday, as he shot 6 under over those five holes in the third round. For the week, he played the par-5s in 13 under par, including three eagles, eight birdies and one bogey.
Imada, the Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs winner, managed five birdies on his round and each came on a par-5. The second place tie pretty much assures Imada of a top-20 finish on the money list, which will earn him his PGA Tour card for the 2005 season.
Langham also is likely to earn his PGA Tour card for next year. He hopes to return to the big tour, where he has four second place finishes in six seasons.
Langham, who won the Rheem Classic earlier this season, opened with three straight birdies before tripping to a bogey at the sixth. The 36-year-old ran off three birdies over a four-hole stretch from the ninth to 12th. He joined Imada in second place with a birdie at the 17th.
Imada moves to third on the Nationwide Tour money list, while Langham climbed to sixth.
Scott Gutschewski, Scott Petersen and D.A. Points shared seventh place at 13- under-par 275. Jason Caron and Tyler Williamson were one stroke further back at minus-12.
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