Marc Turnesa claimed his first PGA Tour title with a wire-to-wire victory in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Turnesa finished on a tournament record total of -24 around the TPC at Summerlin in Las Vegas to beat Matt Kuchar by a single shot and become the fourth rookie to win on the PGA Tour in 2008.
The 30-year-old birdied the ninth, 11th, 12th and 14th and 17th to reach 25-under-par and could afford to bogey the last and still take the title. “I only won by a shot, so obviously every birdie I made was important.” He said.
Turnesa had led going into the final round of last month’s Viking Classic but a late double bogey pushed him back into a tie for Will MacKenzie. Turnesa went on to lose out in a playoff.
“It was disappointing. But you know what, I did the best I could and it didn’t work out.” He said. “The same thing could have easily happened here today. You just got to get over it and move on.”
The win pushed Turnesa from 138th to 75th on the money list and secures his place on the PGA Tour through to the end of 2010.
Turnesa is part of a famous golfing family. His great-uncle, Jim, won the 1952 PGA Championship, and his grandfather, Mike, was a six-time winner on the PGA TOUR who finished second to Ben Hogan in the 1948 PGA Championship. “I don’t really feel like I’m carrying on a name,” Turnesa said. “I guess I am without even thinking about it. I’m just trying to play golf as best I can and that’s all I can really do.”
Kuchar had a chance to catch Turnesa but he finished with four straight pars and fell just one shot shy of the winning total. “The 15th and 16th are definitely birdie holes that I missed opportunities on.” He said. “Other than that, I played pretty solid golf.”
1 Marc Turnesa (USA) 62 64 69 68 263 $738,000
2 Matt Kuchar (USA) 63 63 71 67 264 $442,800
T3 Michael Allen (USA) 63 69 64 70 266 $213,200
T3 Chad Campbell (USA) 65 67 67 67 266 $213,200
T3 John Mallinger (USA) 64 64 70 68 266 $213,200
T6 Tim Herron (USA) 72 65 68 62 267 $142,475
T6 Davis Love III (USA) 68 67 65 67 267 $142,475
T8 Tom Pernice Jr (USA) 68 68 67 65 268 $123,000
T8 Scott Sterling (USA) 69 65 70 64 268 $123,000
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage.