Gonzales Earns First
Nationwide Tour Win
SAN JACINTO, CALIFORNIA | Andres Gonzales
had flirted with victory long enough. The So-
boba Classic was the place where he finally
closed out his first Nationwide Tour win. Barely.
Gonzales held off an early push
Sunday from Andrew Svoboda and
calmed his own jitters late, using
an 8-under 276 total to take a two-
stroke win at the Country Club of
In scoring even-par 71 on the
final day to earn the $135,000 win-
ner’s check, Gonzales became the
first Nationwide Tour player to win wire to wire
since Colt Knost at the Price Cutter Charity
Championship in 2008.
It had been at the September playing of
this event last season that Gonzales first came
close to a Nationwide Tour win. But he fell
short in a two-hole playoff, and Ted Potter Jr.
came away with the hardware.
Then in this season’s opener in Colombia,
Gonzales and Svoboda appeared headed for a
playoff when Skip Kendall’s 25-foot birdie putt on
the 72nd hole gave him the title in regulation play.
This weekend, however, the 28-year-old
from Olympia, Wash., had an answer for every
challenge, either from Svoboda or of his own
making. After starting the day with a two-stroke
lead, he responded each time it seemed control
of the tournament was slipping away.
First, it was Svoboda making birdie on No. 3
to get within a stroke.
But Gonzales answered with a birdie of his
own at No. 5 to restore his advantage.
Svoboda then ratcheted up the pressure with
an eagle to tie at No. 6, but Gonzales’ birdie at
No. 8 put him back ahead by one.
After the turn, the former UNLV golfer corrected his first mistake (a bogey at No. 10) with
a birdie at No. 11, and he looked in the clear.
Svoboda’s luck finally had turned south with
three bogeys in four holes.
Two more late bogeys (on Nos. 15 and 16)
clipped a four-stroke lead in half, but that left
him with his final margin of victory.
Svoboda finished second at 6-under 278, a
stroke ahead of Michael Letzig and Australian
Alistair Presnell in a tie for third at 279.
With the title Gonzales continued an early-season push to earn his way back to the PGA
Tour. In addition to the second-place finish in
Colombia, he also cashed with a top- 20 finish
two weeks ago in Louisiana.
From the eighth position on the early-season money list Gonzales now jumps to No.
1, with a total of $195,810 in five events. The
top 25 money winners at the end of the season
earn cards to play on the PGA Tour in 2013.
Gonzales played 21 events on the PGA Tour
last season, making nine cuts and finishing in
the top 25 twice.
The Nationwide Tour stays in California this
week, but heads up the Pacific coast. Play
begins Thursday at the $600,000 TPC Stonebrae Championship in Hayward, Calif., where
Daniel Chopra won last year.
Rolex Ranking #1
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