Hayden Buckley wins first Korn Ferry Tour occasion of 2021 in a playoff


LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. — Maybe the least possible golfer to win the third annual LECOM Suncoast Traditional claimed the crown on Sunday in sudden demise at Lakewood Nationwide Golf Membership.

After ending 72 holes of play tied at 13-under with Taylor Montgomery of Las Vegas and Dawson Armstrong of Valdosta, Georgia, 24-year-old Hayden Buckley of Chattanooga, Tennessee, went out and birdied the par-Four 18th gap to win on the primary gap of sudden demise.

Buckley appeared mild years away from being a final-day contender after not making it via Monday’s qualifier to make it into the sphere. He made the checklist of alternates and turned out to be the 144th and remaining participant admitted to the primary draw.

Buckley was on the apply placing inexperienced at 7 a.m. when he obtained the decision for his 7:17 a.m. tee time on Thursday. He barely made it in time to tee off.

“I do know I belong out right here,” Buckley stated. “I’m simply ready for my likelihood. It’s only a matter of time. I’m taking part in persistently.”

Nobody would argue that after this week. It was Buckley’s first-ever Korn Ferry championship, alongside along with his inaugural prime ten end. Buckley takes residence $108,000 of the $600,000 purse.

From no tee time Thursday morning to holding the trophy Sunday afternoon.@MizzouMensGolf alum @hbuckley13 capitalized on a last-minute alternative to earn his first #KornFerryTour win. pic.twitter.com/fqjJiTd5nC

— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) February 22, 2021

The ultimate spherical started with Buckley and Billy Kennerly of Seattle sharing the third-round lead at 12-under. Taking part in within the remaining twosome collectively, Buckley took the lead when Kennerly bogeyed the par-Four second gap, one of many hardest at Lakewood Nationwide.

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Kennerly retook the lead with a birdie on the par-5 sixth gap and appeared like he was cruising towards the title with a two-stroke lead when catastrophe struck on the par-Three 17th. Kennerly misplaced his lead with a double bogey and went on to bogey the ultimate gap to overlook the playoff by one stroke. He completed fourth at 12-under.

Defending champion Andrew Novak, who received final 12 months in dramatic model with prolonged birdie putts on the ultimate two holes of the event, did not make the lower this week. He missed the mark by a single stroke, taking part in the primary two rounds at 2-under par.

The Wofford School alum credit his first and solely Korn Ferry victory with altering the trajectory of his profession, no less than for some time. Like so many others on the tour, the four-month hiatus taken due the coronavirus had an influence on his recreation.

“Successful right here was a very good confidence increase for about 5 months,” Novak stated. “However the quarantine actually sort of tousled the momentum of it.”

As for his efficiency at this week’s Suncoast Traditional, the primary event for the reason that lengthy break, he stated, “I didn’t execute the sport plan that I needed. It was powerful making putts.”

Final 12 months’s runner-up by a single stroke, John Chin of Virginia, additionally missed the lower with the identical 2-under whole.

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