The first time I actually looked at the leaderboard was on the 18th hole today. —Andres Gonzales
SANDY — Andres Gonzales went wire to wire at the Web.com Utah Championship.
The 31-year-old from Olympia, Washington, who led after every round, capped things off with the title Sunday at the Willow Creek Country Club. He finished with a 21-under 263 to prevail by four shots over Travis Bertoni, Adam Crawford and Sung Kang.
“It was a nerve-wracking day. I was pretty nervous out there the whole day,” Gonzales said. “I leaned on my caddie, Brandon DeStefano, the whole day.”
Gonzales, who didn’t tee off until 3:10 p.m., was determined to control what he could control — himself and not how others were doing.
“The first time I actually looked at the leaderboard was on the 18th hole today. I hit my shot on the green and Brandon said I could look up at the leaderboard,” Gonzales explained. “I saw I had a four-shot lead, so that kind of gave me goosebumps knowing that I could do some stuff on the last green and still win.”
Gonzales missed a 25-foot putt for a birdie on No. 18 before closing out the tournament with a 4-footer.
The victory is Gonzales’ third in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. His previous wins came in the 2009 Saskatchewan Open and in the 2012 Soboba Golf Classic. Last year, Gonzales finished in a tie for eighth at the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship.
Gonzales, who earned $112,500 for finishing first, shot a 69 on the final day to fend off the field.
Salt Lake City’s Tony Finau finished with a four-round total of 268 (16-under) to earn $25,000 and greatly enhance the likelihood that he’ll earn his PGA Tour card for 2014-15 by finishing among the top 25 money winners on the Web.com circuit. Finau, who has made 11 straight cuts, is currently 18th with $130,125.
“Overall it was a good week and I was glad I could play in front of all these fans,” he said.
Former BYU golfer Zac Blair wound up in a tie for 11th at 13-under 271.Comment on this story
“It was nice to play in front of some friends and family on a course I’m familiar with,” Blair said. “So that was nice.”
TOURNAMENT NOTES: Gonzales is now seventh on the Web.com money list with earnings of $201,440. ... Blair’s finish earned him $13,750. ... Finau had the longest drive of the tournament with a blast of 369 yards on No. 10 in the third round. He led the week in total driving and was tied with Matt Davidson for driving accuracy at 81.25 percent. ... Cam Burke was disqualified after the third round for signing an incorrect scorecard. He was 7-under. ... The Web.com Tour is in Boise next week.