FARRAGUT (Sports Network) — Chez Reavie posted a four-under 68 on Sunday to cruise to his first victory on the Nationwide Tour at the Knoxville Open.
He completed his first win at 17-under-par 271 and won by three shots over Kyle McCarthy at Fox Den Country Club.
“I’ve been working so hard this year. I had a couple of chances to win last year and would always have a bad round here or there and fall out,” said Reavie, who pocketed $85,500. “You really start to question yourself. So it’s very gratifying to get a win.”
McCarthy shot a two-under 70 to come in at 14-under-par 274. Michael Letzig fired a six-under 66 to take third at minus-13, one shot better than Deane Pappas, whose 67 on Sunday sent him to 12-under-par 276.
Reavie flew out of the gate with an eagle at one and a birdie at two. He held a five-shot lead, but when McCarthy birdied three, four and seven and Reavie bogeyed eight and nine, the pair was tied on the 10th tee.
“It was an amazing start to the round,” Reavie said. “Then, all of the sudden, I bogey one hole, then another. I had to step back and take a deep breath and compose myself. Then I was able to birdie 10, 11 and 12 and get the lead back.”
McCarthy also bogeyed 10, so the margin jumped again. In the end, Reavie cruised, but it was also an amazing week for McCarthy, who missed out on Monday qualifying, but got in as the 31st alternate.
He grabbed a 15-year-old caddie, did not play a practice round and made his first cut of the year.
“Chez played great,” McCarthy said. “I wanted to win, but after the start that Chez had going eagle-birdie, I went from one-to-four down. But I made a run at him and am proud of the way I held up.”
Scott Gardiner (70), Jon Mills (72) and Tommy Biershenk (71) are knotted in fifth place at minus-11. Esteban Toledo shot a two-under 70 and took eighth at 10-under-par 278.
Tim Wilkinson (66), Joe Daley (68), Roland Thatcher (69), Jeff Wood (70) and the tour’s second-leading money winner, Nicholas Thompson (70) shared ninth place at minus-nine.
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