Former Ryder Cup star and 1995 US Open champion Corey Pavin won his first tournament on the US PGA Tour since the 1996 Memorial in Milwaukee last night, finishing on -20 after four rounds.
Having holed a six iron for eagle on the par-4 eighth, the 46 year-old American finished with ten consecutive pars, which enabled him to hold off the challenges of his compatriots Jerry Kelly and Jeff Sluman. Pavin’s final round of 67 meant that he finished two shots clear of Kelly, with Sluman one shot further back in third place. Pavin had dazzled crowds all week with his form and was never headed after firing a 61 in the first round. The course record score included an outward nine of just 26 strokes – the lowest nine hole score ever made in the US PGA Tour’s history.
It was a welcome return to form for Pavin, who was a regular winner and member of the world’s top ten throughout the early 1990s. His career peaked with his win at Shinnecock Hills in the 1995 US Open, and he will be remembered on both sides of the Atlantic for his participation in several Ryder Cups. The win yesterday was his fifteenth on the US Tour, despite him being easily one of the shortest players off the tee.
“It was funny, because I didn’t make any putts today,” Pavin reflected after lifting the trophy.
“I’ve been rolling them in from all over the place this week, but none today. I’m thankful that Jerry [Kelly] struggled with his putter too today, otherwise the result could have been different.”
“The journey that I have taken over the last ten years to get here, all the work I have put in and what I have gone through makes it very meaningful to get back here.”