PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2017) -- After sleeping on the lead for three nights and fighting off repeated challenges, Rich Berberian Jr. and Rob Corcoran had one last task Thursday.
Par the final hole to win the PGA Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship at PGA Golf Club.
Corcoran did one better, the Melbourne resident rolling in a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the Dye Course to help him and Berberian win the inaugural event.
They earned 16 points with eight birdies to finish at 64 points, three ahead of the teams of Adam Rainaud-Scott Berliner (16-61) and Gary Robison-Mitchell Camp (20-61). Corcoran and Berberian split $8,000 for the wire-to-wire victory.
RELATED: PGA Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship leaderboard
“It’s a big relief, I think, starting with the lead and being able to end with it,” said Berberian, the reigning PGA Professional Player of the Year. “We struggled a little in the second and third rounds. Rob played great today. He didn’t miss many shots. That made it easy.”
While Corcoran’s putt clinched the win, Berberian made a key birdie at the par-5 17th hole after Corcoran was out of the hole with a lost tee shot. Berberian two-putted from 100 feet, leaving himself a 2-footer, to give his team a three-point lead.
“I left him alone plenty this week,” Berberian said, smiling. “I might have been alone twice the whole week. Par wasn’t going to get us in trouble (on No. 17), but we obviously needed the birdie.”
Robison and Camp had 20 points on 10 birdies to earn the second-place tie. Playing a group ahead of the winners, Rainaud and Berliner birdied the last four holes to make things interesting.
“We switched the order on 15 and Adam made a birdie,” Berliner said. “Adam said we needed to go birdie-eagle-birdie, and as it turned out that would have gotten us a tie. We should have switched up on the first hole.”
Michael O’Connor and Kirk Stauffer were fourth at 57 points, just ahead of Mark Mielke-Steve Schneiter, who had a day-best 22 points Thursday to reach 56. The Tucker brothers (Jerry and Michael) tied for sixth at 51 with Matt Noel and Nicholas Beddow.
The Four-Ball Stableford, which replaced the Match Play, was quite the success, with a 176-player field and the leaderboard showing juniors, seniors and women can all be competitive on their respective tees. Eagles were worth five points, birdies 2, pars zero and bogeys minus-1.
“I think it’s a great format,” Corcoran said. “Everybody gets to play from the proper tees. You just have to try and make as many birdies as you can.”
Especially on the last hole.
The PGA Winter Championships are presented by GolfAdvisor.com and PrimeSport.