PASADENA, Calif. (Aug. 25, 2013) -- It wasn't a pretty finish, but when all was said and done Jeff Coburn of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. defeated his nerves and the other 107 competitors in the field and was able to pull out the win at the 2013 SCGA Public Links Championship, beating defending champion Dan Sullivan by one stroke. The win was Coburn's first SCGA title since taking the 2009 SCGA Tournament of Club Champions.
"It feels incredible to get this win," said Coburn. "It's definitely my biggest SCGA victory to date. Even though I struggled down the stretch, I'm feeling really good about getting that win under my belt."
Heading into the 17th hole of the round, Coburn found himself with a one-stroke lead over Sullivan. Teeing off Sunday morning off the 10th tee, the 17th hole of the match and 53rd of the tournament was Brookside GC Course No. 1's par 3 8th hole, one Coburn had parred Friday. His tee shot found itself well left of the hole, however, bouncing off the cart path and into the lateral water hazard. Coburn would record a solid up and down for a nice bogey save, but he had opened the door for Sullivan, who saw what transpired after driving his final tee shot into the middle of the fairway on the finishing hole.
The stage was set for a close finish, and Brookside GC member Sullivan, playing in the lead group, was on the green in two on Brookside's par 4, 337-yard 9th hole. He would hit his first putt to about four feet.
Back on the tee, Coburn pulled out a 3-iron, planning to lay up, something he says he has done all 50 times he's played the course. He would again hit the cart path, however, and an unfortunate bounce caused his ball to just make its way into the lake.
With a gallery of about 50 huddled around the ninth green, Sullivan needed to put in the four-footer to force Coburn to have to make the 130-yarder that now awaited him after his drop for the tie. Unfortunately for Sullivan, however, he just missed the putt, having to tap in for bogey and walking off the green visibly upset with himself.
Unsure how Sullivan had finished, Coburn's approach shot landed about 12 feet from the hole, leaving a tough downhill putt for the win."I knew I had to make the putt," said Coburn. "I wasn't sure if it was for a tie or for the win, though."
It turns out it was for the win, and Coburn dropped it into the hole looking cool, calm and collected.
Coburn and Sullivan would both finish with third-round scores of 2-under par 69. Coburn edged out Sullivan with a three-round total of 6-under par 206, while Sullivan finished at 207.
Second-round leaders Tim Hogarth and Kyle Pollema struggled Sunday, finishing with rounds of 7-over par and 4-over par, respectively, to finish sixth and tied for third. Joshua Shou of Los Angeles also finished T3.
In the Bobby Jones net flight, which was a two-day, 36-hole affair, Brookside GC member Randy Gottlieb pulled out the victory on his home course with net rounds of 70 and 71. He took first place over Harry Bobbitt, also of Brookside, in a card off.
In the Jack Nicklaus flight, Danny Kim of SCGA eClub won with net round sof 69 and 67 for a total of 6-under par 136. He beat out Gurpreet Toor of Moorpark GC by one stroke.