2004: Nationwide Tour - Driscoll lands 1st triumph

Virginia Beach, Va.

Two weeks ago James Driscoll made one of the toughest decisions of his young professional career when he declined a sponsor exemption into the PGA Tour’s Deutsche Bank Championship.

He skipped the event, which is played at TPC of Boston and a short drive from where Driscoll grew up in Brookline, to rest for the Nationwide Tour’s grueling final stretch. On Sept. 12, his decision paid off.

Driscoll began the final round at the Virginia Beach Open trailing Kyle Thompson by two shots and quickly lost ground with a bogey at No. 7. The former University of Virginia All-America responded with an eagle at the eighth to tie Thompson and took control with a two-putt birdie at the par-5 12th.

Driscoll shot a final-round 68 for a 273 total and four-stroke victory over Jason Buha, Thompson and two-time winner Jimmy Walker. He earned $81,000 to move to No. 9 on the money list and secure his 2005 PGA Tour card.

“This is such a weird game,” said Driscoll, who improved 24 spots to No. 184 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. “Nothing is guaranteed. There are no contracts. You never know when you’ll get it going.”

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