Panama City, Panama (SportsNetwork.com) – Mathew Goggin closed with a 3-under
67 on Sunday to win the season-opening Panama Claro Championship by four
Goggin ended at 11-under-par 269 at Club de Golf de Panama. This was his
second victory at this tournament and fifth on the Web.com Tour.
“It just reminds you that you can still play a bit. I played so poorly last
year and you start wondering, at 40, what do I need to change or what do I
need to do more of,” Goggin wondered.
Second-round leader Harold Varner III carded his second straight 1-over 71 and
he ended alone in second at minus-7.
Dicky Pride fired a 5-under 65 to jump into a share of third place at 6-under
274. He was joined there by Shane Bertsch (70). Henrik Norlander stumbled to a
2-over 72 to slip into fifth place at minus-5.
Glen Day also shot 65 in the final round to move into sixth place. He ended
alongside Aaron Watkins (66), Rhein Gibson (66), Rick Cochran (71) and Curtis
Thompson (69) at 4-under-par 276.
Third-round leader Hao Tong Li faltered to a 6-over 76 and he dropped into
11th place at 3-under-par 277.
Li led by one to open the round, but Goggin and Varner both birdied the first
hole to forge a 3-way tie for the lead at minus-9. Varner moved in front as he
birdied the third, while Li dipped two back as he made bogey.
Goggin climbed to 10-under with a birdie on the seventh, but Varner answered
with a birdie at No. 8 regain the lead at 11-under. Li, who had bogeyed the
fifth, also dropped a shot on eight to fall four back and he was unable to
rebound from there.
Varner stumbled to a bogey at the 10th to fall into a share of the lead with
Goggin at minus-10. Varner dropped two behind as he faltered to bogeys on the
12th and 14th.
“When I got on 10 tee I knew what was at stake,” stated Varner. “You’ve just
got to accept it. It is what it is.”
Another bogey on No. 16 left Varner three behind, and Goggin put things out of
reach with a birdie at the 17th. They both parred the last as Goggin sealed
the 4-shot win.
“You get a course you like and these conditions really suit me, but you’ve
still got to take advantage of those because there are going to be a lot of
weeks where guys that carry it 320 off the tee get a massive advantage,”
Goggin said. “So when you get an opportunity like this you have to take
advantage of it.”
Li went on to bogey three of the last four holes to close out a round in which
he failed to card a single birdie.
NOTES: Goggin earned $112,500 for the win … Goggin joined Vance Veazey as
the only players to win this title two times … Varner matched his career-
best finish on the Web.com Tour … The tour heads to Bogota next week for the
Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship, where Alex Cejka won by three strokes