MIAMI -- Shawn Stefani became the fourth multiple winner on the 2012 Web.com Tour Sunday when he closed with a 3-under-par 68 to post a five-stroke victory over Australian Alistair Presnell at the 10th annual Miccosukee Championship. Stefani finished with a 72-hole total of 15-under-par 269. Russell Henley finished third.
The win was Stefani’s second in 2012. He claimed his first when he won the Midwest Classic near Kansas City in August, when he finished two strokes better than Henley and Luke List.
Stefani had started the day six strokes ahead of the field. Although he was just 1 under par on the front nine, the only player to make a significant move on his lead was Presnell, who finished 4 under on the front to cut Stefani’s lead to three strokes at the turn.
“To be honest, I was not worried about the lead or protecting the lead when I started,” Stefani said. “You expect someone to come out and play well and Alistair did just that. He played a really good round of golf today. Give him some credit for putting some pressure on me. I just wanted to focus on playing well and experience what it was like playing with a lead in the final round.”
Presnell cut Stefani’s lead to three strokes when he chipped in from 60 feet on No. 9. However, from that point on Stefani played bogey-free golf and added key birdies on Nos. 14 and 18, the last coming from 20 feet to put an exclamation point on his win.
“I was thinking the way I started in my mind that it would have been good enough that I might have a chance,” Presnell said. “But he had made a couple of good saves and a couple of nice birdies, and all in all he was really steady all day. The shots he mis-hit he was able to recover well and he holed some good putts. I just slowed a bit too much on the back nine and made a few too many pars.”
After his 4-under effort on the front, Presnell was only able to make one birdie on the back nine when he hit a wedge from 110 yards to a foot. Any slim hopes he had of closing the gap further ended at the par-5 16th where he made a bogey.
The victory and first-place check for $108,000 moved Stefani up to 12 spots to fourth on the 2012 Web.com Tour money list with $303,311. After two more Web.com Tour events, it’s off to the PGA Tour in 2013 for the former Lamar University golfer.
“Getting my PGA Tour card means the world to me. I’ve worked very hard to make it to the Tour and it will be a dream come true for me to play on Tour. It’s the best Tour in the world,” Stefani added.
--Shawn Stefani joins Ben Kohles, Casey Wittenberg and Luke Guthrie as multiple-event winners this season.
--The new bubble boy on The 25 season money list is Doug LaBelle II, who jumped Alex Aragon (missed cut) for that spot. However, LaBelle is just $690 in front of Paul Claxton, who is now 26th, dropping two spots from last week’s list. The top 25 at season’s end qualify for the 2013 PGA Tour.
--Alistair Presnell’s second-place finish allowed him to move up 20 spots on the money list, from 39th to 19th with $187,342.
--Tag Ridings withdrew prior to the start of the final round to fly home to be with his wife, who gave birth to their third child (a girl, Charli) on Sunday morning. Andy Bare withdrew during his round with an injury.
--The field played lift, clean and place rules on Sunday.
--Russell Henley followed his win a week ago with a third-place effort on Sunday.
--Stefani’s five-stroke victory marked the fourth straight year that the winner has prevailed by multiple strokes. Jason Kokrak won by seven strokes a year ago.
--Kevin Tway finished tied for fifth, which earned him a spot in next week’s Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open. Tway was playing on a sponsor’s exemption.
--Rookie Morgan Hoffmann continues to play solid golf, finishing tied for ninth. It was his sixth top-10 finish in just 11 starts this year and fourth in succession. He has already earned $145,820, which puts him 31st on the current money list and just $14,394 from the top 25.
--Christopher DeForest finished tied for fifth, which was the first top-10 finish of the year for the former University of Illinois standout.