Gavin Coles wins Nationwide Tour event
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Australia's Gavin Coles won the Nationwide Tour's Jacksonville Open on Sunday to wrap up a 2012 PGA Tour card, shooting a 1-over 71 in windy conditions for a one-stroke victory over Sweden's Jason Blixt.
Coles had a 6-under 274 total on the Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass and earned $108,000 to jump from 45th to 15th on the money list with $226,404. The top 25 next week after the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship will earn 2012 PGA Tour cards.
"The golf course played hard," Coles said. "The greens were fast and you had to hit it in the right spots to make birdies. It was a tough test, and having said that, I don't feel like I played all that well in terms of hitting it close."
The five-time Nationwide Tour winner opened with rounds of 70, 64 and 69.
Blixt also finished with a 71. He's fifth on the money list.
"It's good to be there on Sunday and get the experience of being under pressure," Blixt said. "It's time for me to win and pull one of these out."
David Lingmerth (69) was third at 4 under, and Danny Lee (68) and Tommy Biershenk (69) were 3 under.
Wind gusts topped out at 20 mph, leading to a final-round scoring average of 71.949. For the week, the course played to an average of 72.368, the highest of the season on the Nationwide Tour.
The tournament was the final full-field event of the year. The top 60 on the money list qualified for the finale next week at Daniel Island Club in South Carolina.