Success has been an infrequent visitor to Gary Hallberg through five Buy.com Tour events, and a 10-shot deficit in the final round of the Northeast Pennsyl-vania Classic didn’t seem to be a welcome mat for victory.
But then Hallberg shot 64, and a record-tying comeback victory was his June 2 at Glenmaura National Golf Club.
After missing 10 cuts in 16 Buy.com Tour events in 2001, Hallberg started 2002 with two consecutive missed cuts. Hallberg was outside the top 30 in his other three events this year leading into Pennsylvania.
“My wife told me a few weeks ago that she wasn’t sure if this was paying off,” said Hallberg. “For me to play, the commitment from my family is tremendous.”
Hallberg, at 9-under-par 275, finished three strokes ahead of Roger Tambellini (74) for his first victory on the Buy.com Tour. Tambellini was tied for the lead with Hallberg before a triple bogey on the final hole.
With the victory, the three-time winner on the PGA Tour earned $81,000, his largest check since he won the 1992 Buick Challenge and collected $126,000. His previous-best finish in 2002 was a tie for 33rd at the Richmond Open.
“For the work I’ve put into my game to pay off is a great feeling,” said Hallberg. “To play golf and play it well is so much fun.”
Hallberg entered the final round 10 strokes behind third-round leader Joe Daley, and his comeback ties the Buy.com Tour record set by John Flannery at the 1991 Reno Open.
Daley entered the final round with a two-stroke lead over Doug Garwood, but each shot 79.