Veazey defeats Willis in Panama playoff
BY Bruce Young | Web.com Tour | 2009 Panama Digicel Championship | Round Four | 09 Feb 2009
Vance Veazey has survived a sudden death playoff against Garrett Willis in the Panama Championship at the Panama Golf Club in Panama, the 43-year-old now well on his way to a return to the PGA Tour in 2010.
The opening event of the 2009 Nationwide Tour season provided Veazey with a cheque for US$108,000 and he leads the money list with nearly half the money he will need by season’s end if he is to earn one of the PGA Tour cards handed out after the Tour Championship in October.
Veazey, a three time winner on the Nationwide Tour leading into this event, led for much of the week on the demanding layout at the Panama Golf Club but was forced to birdie the 72nd hole to catch Garett Willis who birdied four of his last six holes.
Such was the congested nature of the field on the final day, Garrett played nearly an hour ahead of the final pairing of Veazey and Len Mattiace and the previous winner of the PGA Tour’s Tucson Open applied the most intense pressure with his strong finish.
At that point Garrett had taken the lead but Veazey responded with a birdie at the final hole before going on to win in a playoff.
Scott Gardiner was the best of the Australians finishing in 10th position after a stunning final round of 65. Gardiner earns US$15,000. Michael Sim was 23rd, joint first round leader, Andrew Buckle was 34th and Phil Tataurangi was 70th amongst the Australasians to make the cut.
The Nationwide Tour will now move across the Pacific to Moonah Links on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for the Moonah Classic starting on February 28th where Ewan Porter will defend his title.