Sucher hangs on to win Midwest Classic

07/26/2014 9:50 PM

07/27/2014 9:14 PM

Overland Park, KS ( - Zack Sucher fired a final-round, 1- over 72, but it was good enough to give him a 3-stroke victory at the Midwest Classic on Sunday.

Sucher, who began the day three shots ahead of Aaron Watkins, finished the week at 19-under 265. It is Sucher's first career win on the Tour. He also will be playing on the PGA Tour next year with this win.

"I played really well last week and didn't get it done the last two days," Sucher said. "I'm headed to the PGA Tour and now I can finally stop worrying about it."

Playing in the final pairing together, Sucher and Watkins were neck and neck throughout most of the day, but Watkins could not quite find a way to take the lead. Watkins also shot a 72 on Sunday at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate and he finished at 16-under-par 268.

Right behind Watkins was Bill Lunde, who finished in sole possession of third place at minus-15 after his final-round 69. He was followed by Jonathan Randolph (67) and Derek Fathauer (69) at 14-under and 13-under, respectively.

Andres Gonzales (68), Kyle Reifers (69), Tom Hoge (71), Aron Price (71) and Jason Gore (73) all ended tied for sixth at 12-under 272.

Sucher and Watkins struggled at the start of their rounds as they both made bogey at the par-4 first hole. Sucher's 3-shot advantage quickly dropped to two after he bogeyed his second straight hole at No. 2, while Watkins made par.

A birdie at No. 3 put Sucher ahead by three again, but he was quiet throughout the rest of the front nine, finishing with six straight pars. In the meantime, Watkins made back-to-back gains at five and six to trim Sucher's lead to one. A bogey at No. 9 dropped Watkins back another shot, however.

Watkins briefly pulled even with Sucher when Sucher made back-to-back bogeys at 10 and 11, putting him at 3-over for the day. A birdie on No. 13 had Sucher back in the lead by one.

Sucher and Watkins both made bogey at the par-4 14th and Sucher got back up by two shots with back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16, while Watkins made birdie at 15 as well.

Sucher closed his round out with two straight pars at 17 and 18 to end at 19- under, while Watkins made bogey at the last to finish three shots back.

"It felt a little like match play towards the end," Sucher said. "I like to fade the ball and all day the wind was working against me ... I wish I could have made it easy on myself early. This is incredible. It means a lot for me for the rest of the year and a lot for next year, too."

NOTES: Sucher finally broke through with a win after four top-10 finishes this year entering this event. Before his victory on Sunday, Sucher's best finish came at last week's Albertsons Boise Open, where he ended tied for fourth ... Watkins had not finished in the top 10 this year until now ... The Tour is in Hayward, California next for the Stonebrae Classic, where Alex Aragon won last year.

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