Foley wins Panama Claro title by one over Goggin, first victory

Kevin Foley
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Kevin Foley began the final round of the Panama Claro championship tied for second, two strokes behind leader Mathew Goggin, before rallying for the victory.
Associated Press

Series: Tour

Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013 | 8:53 p.m.

PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Kevin Foley won the Tour's season-opening Panama Claro Championship on Sunday for his first tour title, holing a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Mathew Goggin.

The 25-year-old former Penn State player closed with a 3-under 67 in 93-degree heat to finish at 8-under 272 at Panama Golf Club. He earned $108,000.

"It you had told me a year ago that I'd be standing here, I probably wouldn't have believed you," Foley said. "I'd take it, but I wouldn't believe it. A lot has happened in a year."

Goggin had a bogey, double bogey and triple bogey in his final-round 70. The 2010 champion had a chance to force a playoff with a birdie at the 465-yard 18th, but settled for par after his second shot went into a greenside bunker.

"I played really poorly for 13 holes," said Goggin, from Australia. "I wasn't playing particularly well, but I was hanging in there. You're just waiting for one or two holes or one or two shots to get you going and then instead of a good one you have the absolute worst one."

Foley began the round tied for second, two strokes behind Goggin.

"I knew it was going to be a shootout today because there were a bunch of guys lined up to start the day," Foley said. "It wasn't the windiest day but with tough pin positions and the course getting firmer, I knew I just had to play smart and steady all day."

Scott Brown shot a 66 to finish third at 6 under, and Scott Dunlap (68), Len Mattiace (69) and Roland Thatcher (71) followed at 4 under. Jordan Spieth (66) and Bobby Gates (72) were 3 under. The 19-year-old Spieth turned professional in December after one year at the University of Texas.

The tournament opened the tour's 24th season. The Colombia Championship is next week, followed by the Chile Classic. The U.S. schedule begins March 21-24 with the Louisiana Open.