Up four shots with 18 holes to play, Champions Tour rookie Mark McNulty liked where he was at the SBC Championship.
“With one round to go, I like my position – I think anybody would,” McNulty said after firing an 8-under-par 63 in Saturday’s second round. “There are a lot of players behind me who can do what I did today.”
McNulty never gave them a chance Oct. 17. He shot a final-round 65 to win by eight shots over Gary McCord. It was McNulty’s second title of 2004; he won his tour debut at the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am in February. McNulty finished at 18-under 195 and won $225,000 to move to No. 14 in money with $983,048.
“I was fortunate enough to hit quality shots starting the round, which settled me down,” said McNulty, who had four birdies on the front nine. “I struck the ball well and putted well, too.”
The winning margin at Oak Hills Country Club was the largest of the season in a 54-hole event and one short of the tour record.
After his four birdies on the front, McNulty added three more on consecutive holes on the back to build his advantage to 10 strokes after 16 holes.
On the par-4 14th, he sank a 31-foot putt, and on the par-4 16th, his second shot stopped 17 inches from the hole for a birdie that got him to 19 under. He bogeyed the final hole.
McCord trailed McNulty by four shots after 36 holes and was looking for his first victory since the 1999 Senior Tour Championship.
“You put yourself in position and see how bad you choke,” McCord said going into Sunday’s round. “That’s what makes it fun.”
He didn’t choke – he shot 69 Sunday. McNulty just didn’t let anyone get close.