Evansville, IN (SportsNetwork.com) – Smylie Kaufman shot a 1-over 73 in
Sunday’s final round, but it was more than enough as he went on to win his
first Web.com Tour title by five shots at the United Leasing Championship.
Kaufman finished the week at 10-under-par 278. Prior to this week, he had
three missed cuts and two ties for fourth in five events this season.
“Just blown away, shocked. Quite can’t comprehend it all,” Kaufman said about
his feelings following his win. “Just so grateful. So excited about getting
“It means everything. Somebody informed me that it’s probably going to be
enough money to be on the PGA Tour next year and that’s where I want to be.
That’s where I feel like I should be, so it means everything.”
Jonathan Randolph (69), Adam Long (73) and Ryan Spears (74) were the closest
finishers to the winner at Victoria National Golf Club. The trio ended five
shots back and tied for second at 5-under 283.
Patton Kizzire (70), Tim Herron (72) and Michael Hebert (74) finished one shot
further back at minus-4.
Heading into the day with a 4-shot lead following a record-tying 64 on
Saturday, Kaufman continued his hot play on the front nine as he rolled in
three straight birdies from No. 2.
At 14-under, Kaufman held an 8-shot lead heading to the ninth, where he began
a slight descent. A bogey on nine dropped him down a shot and his lead was cut
Kaufman responded right away with a birdie on 10 and the lead was back to
eight. That was his last birdie of the day, however as the 23-year-old
struggled down the stretch.
Kaufman found the water off the tee on 12, which led to a double-bogey and
trimmed his lead to six. Following a trio of pars from 13, Kaufman tripped to
another double-bogey at the par-3 16th. Just like that his lead was cut to
four, but there were only two holes left.
While his chasers fell back and Kaufman’s lead improved to five, he finished
up with a pair of pars to earn his first career victory.
“Stuck to my guns and just stayed committed to all the shots. I had a couple
hiccups on the back nine, but it’s hard not to on this golf course,” Kaufman
stated. “I did my best to stay committed to every golf shot and you know just
tried to execute to the best of my ability.”
NOTES: Kaufman missed out on the tournament record of 277 by one shot. Peter
Tomasulo and David Lingmerth originally set the record in 2012 before they
were joined by Ben Martin, Joe Affrunti, Ashley Hall and Billy Hurley III …
Kaufman earned $108,000 with the win … The Web.com Tour returns in two weeks
with the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina, where Max Homa won last year.