Daley a Playoff Winner in Witchita

By Sports NetworkJuly 31, 2005, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourWICHITA, Kan. -- Joe Daley birdied the first playoff hole Sunday to win the Wichita Open. Daley was joined in the playoff by Shane Bertsch.
Both Daley and Bertsch carded 6-under 65s in the final round to end at 16-under-par 268 on the North Course at Crestview Country Club.
Daley found the fairway off the tee on No. 18, the playoff hole. He knocked his second shot over the putting surface.
Bertsch, meanwhile, found the left rough off the tee. He missed the green left with his second. The two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour chunked his third shot into a greenside bunker.
The 35-year-old Bertsch blasted his fourth shot within 4 feet of the cup. Daley then pitched his third to 3 feet.
Bertsch, who won the Charity Pro-Am at the Cliffs earlier this year, rolled in his par putt, but it wasn't good enough. Daley sank his birdie try for his second tour win.
'I am so happy right now,' said Daley, who earned $85,500 for the victory. 'It has been a lot of years of hard work to get to this point again.'
Mathew Goggin also closed with a 65 to take third place at 15-under-par 269. Charley Hoffman, who shared the third-round lead with Chris Couch, managed a 1-under 70 to share fourth place at minus-14. He was joined there by Jason Schultz, who carded a Sunday 67.
Couch, a two-time winner this season, could only muster an even-par 71. He tied for sixth place at 13-under-par 271 with Steve LeBrun.
Daley opened with birdies on the second and fourth to move to minus-12. He parred his next five holes to remain there.
The 45-year-old dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 10th. Daley ran in another birdie try on the 13th to get to 15 under and a share of the lead.
Daley then birdied the 15th to move to 16 under. He closed with three straight pars to end there.
'I had chances in Chattanooga, but I missed some key putts,' said Daley, who was a playoff loser at the Chattanooga Classic. 'I stuck with a game plan all week of how I wanted to play the golf course and it paid off.'
Bertsch ran off three straight birdies from the par-5 second. He parred four straight holes before stumbling to a bogey on the ninth to slip to minus-12.
Around the turn, Bertsch parred four holes in a row from the 10th. He birdied the par-5 14th and came back to birdie No. 16 to climb to 14 under. Bertsch forced a playoff as he eagled the par-5 18th from the 12 feet out.
'It was nice to get a shot at it, but you always want to win,' said Bertsch. 'But there is not another guy out here I would rather lose to than Joe. With all he's gone through with the (neck) injury, I couldn't be happier for him. He's battled a lot to get his status back and now he's close to getting his PGA Tour card back.'
Erik Compton fired a 6-under 65 to finish alone in eighth place at 12-under-par 272.
John Mallinger also posted a 65 in the closing round to finish one shot further back at minus-11. He was joined there by Deane Pappas, Tom Scherrer, Matt Weibring, Chad Wilfong, Tim Wilkinson, Justin Hicks, Joel Kribel and Jacob's Creek Open winner Steven Bowditch.
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