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Gonzales runner-up at Nationwide Tour’s Soboba Classic

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Sep. 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm with No Comments »
September 26, 2011 12:10 pm

From PGA over the weekend:

Lefty Ted Potter Jr. tapped in for birdie on the second playoff hole to win the Soboba Golf Classic Sunday. Potter defeated PGA Tour rookie Andres Gonzales, of Olympia, and Miguel Carballo to become the third two-time winner on the Nationwide Tour this year. The victory was worth $135,000 and moved the 27-year old to No. 3 on the money list with only five events left on the schedule.

Potter, winner of the South Georgia Classic in May, and increased his season total to $362,452 and assured himself of a trip to the Tour in 2012. The 25 leading money winners at the end of the season will earn Tour cards for next year.

The trio tied at 14-under 270 at the end of regulation and were forced into the first playoff in the tournament’s three-year history.

Gonzales birdied his final two holes in regulation for a 7-under 64 and posted the first 14-under score at The Country Club of Soboba Springs.

Carballo followed suit in the next group, closing with consecutive birdies for a 6-under 65 and a share of the clubhouse lead.

Potter, playing in the final group with third-round leader Jonas Blixt, also birdied the 18th hole for a 66 to make it a three-man overtime session and just the second playoff on Tour this year. Potter had a chance to win it in regulation but missed a 12-foot eagle putt.

Blixt, who started the day at 11-under with a two-stroke lead, gave three strokes away midway on the back nine to fall out of contention. The former Florida State All-America recovered with a birdie on the final hole for a 1-under 70 and a share of fourth place at 12-under 272 with Australia’s Jarrod Lyle (67).

Both Potter and Gonzales birdied the hole again the first time around in the playoff but Carballo was eliminated when his second shot went over the green and he failed to get up and down from about 100 feet.

“The wind changed a little bit,” said Carballo, who used an 8-iron in regulation but opted for a 6-iron for his second shot in the playoff. “I just didn’t want to leave it short.”

The 32-year old from Argentina missed a 15-foot birdie putt. Potter two-putted from about 35 feet for birdie and Gonzales saw his eagle chip come up inches short, send the two back to the tee at the 521-yard, dogleg right closing hole.

On the second extra hole, Gonzales missed the fairway to the left and wound up in a back bunker about 60 feet from the cup. Potter’s tee shot wound up in the left side of the fairway and he stuffed a 7-iron to about 15 feet for eagle.

“I hit a decent bunker shot and the green was running away,” said Gonzales. “I didn’t want to leave it on top of the ridge. Once it got going down the ridge I knew it wasn’t going to stop. I needed to give it a chance.”

Potter missed his eagle putt, then Gonzales missed for birdie, leaving Potter a short tap-in for the win.

“I wasn’t trying to lag it down there, I was trying to make three,” said Potter, who birdied the hole three times in less than an hour. “I thought it was going to take three to win it but fortunately I made four and it was enough.”

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