West Waterford's Seamus Power closed with a one under 71 to finish tied 34th in the eGolf Tour’s $250,000 Championship at Red Hawk.
As Big Break star Justin Peters beat Matt Hansen in a play-off to take the $37,000 top prize, Power banked $2,250 to remain at the top of the money list with $78,154 from 15 starts.
It was the biggest win of Peters’ 15-year career, and helped keep a PGA TOUR dream alive for a player nearly at the end of his financial road.
Peters, who made television fame in 2003 when he won Golf Channel’s inaugural “Big Break” series, entered Saturday’s final round at host Red Hawk Resort with a three-shot lead, thanks to opening rounds of 66-65-65—196 (19-under par).
He birdied the last for a 72 to share top spot with Hansen on 19 under and they headed to the 17th for the playoff.
First to tee off on the 202-yard playoff hole featuring an all-carry shot over water, Peters staked his claim to the Red Hawk trophy quickly with a 4-iron tee shot that wound up 2 feet from the hole.
“That was the best 4-iron of my life,” he said.
Peters’ tee shot never left the hole, and to an extent, neither did Hansen’s, as a 5-iron looked to be on a laser towards the front-left hole location, but wound up 30 feet short of the pin after getting caught up in the wind.
“I had to follow up a shot that wound up 2 feet away, so I knew I had to make birdie,” said Hansen. “I wanted to hit it a little lower, but 30 feet is still a good shot on that hole.”
Hansen’s uphill birdie try lost steam and fell a foot short of the hole, setting up the short birdie try for Peters, who wasted little time in converting it and in turn claiming his first eGolf title and the tournament’s $37,000 first-place prize.
“That was such a roller coaster,” he said. “Obviously, that’s the biggest win of my career. I entered this week on the verge of having to quit – how the (blank) do you quit now?”
Since winning the “Big Break,” Peters has spent time on every tour imaginable – from the Web.com Tour to the eGolf Tour to PGA TOUR Canada and to every mom and pop shop you’ve never heard of.
With two kids and a mounting stack of bills, he entered the week at Red Hawk unsure of whether or not his career was nearing an end. A sponsor helped him with money in 2014, but that account was down to just $2,000 with second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School still on the docket.
“That’s really been how my whole career has gone. Every year, I don’t know what I’m going to do come January,” said the 37-year-old. “Maybe someone helps me out or maybe I win a tournament. For the last 15 years, that’s how it has been.”
With 37,000 of his best friends now in tow, Peters has an ounce of breathing room and what has always been a promising career still intact.
“This year, my back was against the wall more than ever. To come through like this is amazing,” he said. “I was playing well coming in. This is the biggest tournament that I’ve ever won, so it confirms what I’ve always felt. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting my Web.com Tour status back, and maybe this time next year we can be talking about the PGA TOUR.”
The tour will be off until the season-ending $300,000 Tour Championship, set to be contested on December 3-6, 2014 at Palmetto Hall Plantation on Hilton Head Island, SC.
Championship at Red Hawk, Lakes Course Par 72; 7,140 yards; Hills Course Par 71; 7,106 yards
1. x-Justin Peters, Stuart, FL, $37,000.00, *66-65-65-72-268 -19
2. Matt Hansen, Los Osos, CA, $18,000.00, *68-66-68-66-268 -19
3. Hans Reimers, Lake Oswego, OR, $14,000.00, *67-68-66-68-269 -18
4. Edward Loar, Dallas, TX, $11,000.00, *67-68-67-68-270 -17
5. Richard Fountain, Raleigh, NC, $9,000.00, *61-66-77-67-271 -16
6. Nate Lashley, Scottsdale, AZ, $6,250.00, *70-65-68-69-272 -15
6. Matt Atkins, Owensboro, KY, $6,250.00, *65-69-69-69-272 -15
6. Craig Barlow, Henderson, NV, $6,250.00, *66-66-70-70-272 -15
6. Scott Harrington, Portland, OR, $6,250.00, *64-69-68-71-272 -15
6. Frank Adams III, Salisbury, NC, $6,250.00, *68-66-65-73-272 -15
6. James Erkenbeck, San Diego, CA, $6,250.00, *66-68-66-72-272 -15
34. Seamus Power, Ireland, $2,250.00, *68-66-73-71-278 -9