PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Bob Sowards was anxious to be playing in Event No. 5 of the PGA Tournament Series after losing a lead last Friday.
The rest of the field? Not as excited to see Sowards on the leaderboard.
The four-time PGA Professional Player of the Year from Dublin, Ohio bounced back from last week’s disappointment for a 2-under 70 Tuesday to win by a shot over three players. Sowards was at 7-under 137 after two trips around the Dye Course at PGA Golf Club.
“It’s always great to win, especially with a good field like this,” Sowards said. “I didn’t deserve to win (Friday) shooting a 73. But I could have played well and shot 70 and thought I won it, and still got beat.
“My thought process was to try and get it to 9-under. I just couldn’t get it in the hole. I guess nobody did.”
Sowards edged Rod Perry (69) – who had won the last two PGA Tournament Series events – of Port Orange, Omar Uresti (68) of Austin, Texas, and Kyle Dobbs (66) of Tampa. Sowards’ birdie at No. 17 was the difference as he won his second PGA Tournament Series event this year.
Perry maintained the PGA Tournament Series money lead at $15,416 over Sowards ($12,900), but knows it could have been better.
“It would have been nice to win three in a row, but 6-under shouldn’t be good enough to win,” Perry said. “We were all stale on the front nine. We had three birdies on the front nine in our group.”
Dobbs missed short birdie putts on the last two holes or he would have been holding the trophy. He started the day by fishing at the Fort Pierce inlet, but knew he let one get away.
“It kind of rejuvenated me and recharged the battery,” Dobbs said of the fishing. “I made a lot of putts today, just not on the last two holes.”
Uresti, who lost a playoff to Perry on Friday, was hoping to get another opportunity Tuesday.
“I birdied all of the par-5s, but I hit my opening tee ball into the hazard and made bogey,” Uresti said. “Other than that swing, I played solid all day.”
Zac Oakley of Palm City tied for fifth with a 68, but that was after a two-stroke penalty he received on the 13th hole for violating Rule 16-1 (a) for tapping down a mark on his line. Oakley tied Brett Melton (74) and Rob Labritz (73).
Suzy Whaley, who will become the PGA’s first woman president in 2018, shot 74 and finished tied for 58th. She said she doesn’t feel pressure to shoot low scores because of the job she’ll have in two years.
“I want to play better, but even the person who is leading (the tournament) wants to play better,” Whaley said. “I like to play in these events because it’s our responsibility to play, that’s a part of what we do, to promote the game of golf by playing.”
The PGA Tournament Series is presented by Golf Advisor.
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