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Golf Australia Express : Issue 6
SCOTT PIERCY can now confirm his heart is in perfect working order. The American tested his ticker in every possible way at the PGA Tour’s Reno- Tahoe Open in securing a one-shot win over compatriot Pat Perez. It took a shaky two-putt at the event’s final hole to seal it, but it was enough to give him his maiden Tour victory despite his rocky final round. Virtually unsighted before the weekend, Piercy was a new man when strode to the tee on Saturday. A little over two hours later he finished his front nine, eight shots better off having birdied every hole from the second to the ninth. Two more birdies and an eagle later, he etched his name in the clubhouse as the course record holder, finishing with an 11-under 61 to explode into the lead. Piercy had never won a PGA Tour event—his best finish a sixth at the Honda Classic in 2009—and it seemed he wasn’t quite ready to break his duck when he turned the 14th hole into a mini- disaster. With a red hot Perez making his final assault with two birdies at 12 and 13, Piercy tried to drive the green at the par four 14th but was PIERCING THROUGH way off target, hitting a cart path and landing 30m away. He was lucky to salvage a bogey, but fell into a tie for the lead with Perez, who quickly found trouble of his own to hand Piercy back a two-stroke lead by the time he reached the 18th. Reaching the green at the par-5 in regulation, Piercy had a mere two- putt from 30 feet between him and $540,000, but his determination to frighten the life out of himself won out again, as he blasted his first attempt more than six feet past the hole. He finally rolled in the winning putt to win by a single stroke to Perez, with fellow Americans Steve Flesch and Blake Adams another shot back at 13-under. A relieved Piercy said he could now focus on winning more tournaments, having finally won one. “It kind of feels like I got the monkey off the back,” he said. “I’ve been in the final group five times I think and didn’t close the deal.” “I always thought I could do it and it was just a matter of doing it. Now I did it. A big sigh of relief.” Australians Steve Elkington and Nick O’Hern both finished at 10-under to finish in a tie for sixth. But O’Hern had cause to be disappointed despite the top 10 result, having led after the first round when he posted a crisp seven-under 65. OTG “I ALWAYS THOUGHT ICOULDDOITANDIT WAS JUST A MATTER OF DOING IT. NOW I DID IT. A BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.” — A philosophical Scott Piercy after his Reno-Tahoe win WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE PGA TOUR FINAL STANDINGS 1 SCOTT PIERC Y USA -15 $ 540,000 2 PAT PEREZ USA -14 $ 324,000 T3 STEVE FLESCH USA -13 $ 174,000 T3 BLAKE ADAMS USA -13 $ 174,000 5 JIM RENNER USA -12 $ 120,000 T6 MATT MCQUILLAN CAN -11 $ 97,125 T6 BEN MARTIN USA -11 $ 97,125 T6 STEVE ELKINGTON AUS -11 $ 97,125 T6 NICK O’HERN AUS -11 $ 97,125 T10 BILLY HORSCHEL USA -10 $ 69,000 T10 BYRCE MOLDER USA -10 $ 69,000 T10 HUNTER HAAS USA -10 $ 69,000 T10 MICHAEL LETZIG USA -10 $ 69,000 T10 JOSH TEATER USA -10 $ 69,000 WRAP THE