OCT. 24, 2011 22 MEN’S PRO
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA I From his
Takes Jax Open
position on the Nationwide Tour’s money list,
Gavin Coles clearly understood the value of
winning the Jacksonville Open.
With two late birdies at the Dye’s Valley
Course of TPC Sawgrass, Coles cashed in on
that knowledge. The 43-year-old Australian
– the Tour’s No. 45 money-earner coming in –
scored his only birdies of the final day on Nos.
16 and 17 to clinch his victory in the last full-
field event of the Nationwide Tour season.
For Coles, the difference between first place
and second or third was significant. By add-
ing the $108,000 winner’s check to his season
total, he moves to the No. 15 spot on The 25, a
more comfortable position for his pursuit of a
2012 PGA Tour card as he heads for next week’s
season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship.
Blixt was alone in second place at 275, followed
by Lingmerth at 276. Danny Lee and Tommy
Biershenk tied for fourth place at 3-under 277.
It was Coles’ fifth win on the Nationwide
Tour, and first since the Louisiana Open in
2008, a season in which he also was playing
PGA Tour events. He has won a PGA Tour card
through the Nationwide Tour once before, fin-
ishing 16th on the money list in 2006.
Even dropping to second-place money – about
$65,000 – would have left him down a few more
spots. And with a third-place finish, he’d still have
been on the outside of The 25 looking in.
Coles had three previous top- 10 Nationwide
Tour finishes this season, including a second at
the Price Cutter Charity Championship.
Coles was the 54-hole leader by one stroke
over Jonas Blixt, but even that position was not
as good as it might have been. With four bogeys
on his final 12 holes Saturday, a three-stroke
lead had shrunk to just one.
Nationwide Tour money leader J.J. Killeen
and second-place Mathew Goggin failed to
make the cut at Ponte Vedra Beach, meaning
the T7 finish by Ted Potter Jr. moved him past
Goggin and within about $27,000 of Killeen for
the money title.
Then Sunday he went through the first 15
holes at 1 over, holding off Blixt and his
fellow Swede David Lingmerth by that same
one stroke. The birdies – on the 559-yard par- 5
16th and the 499-yard par- 4 17th – gave him
enough of a cushion that a final-hole bogey
meant he escaped with a one-stroke win.
Up next is the Tour Championship, to be
played at Daniel Island in Charleston, S.C., with
the top 60 players on the money list in the field.
By tying with Potter and two others for seventh
place on Sunday, John Kimbell jumped from
67th to 57th, thus earning a spot in the final