Rookie Austin Cook closes out 1st PGA Tour win at RSM Classic

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Rookie Austin Cook closes out 1st PGA Tour win at RSM Classic

PGA Tour

Rookie Austin Cook closes out 1st PGA Tour win at RSM Classic

Here is a recap of the final round of the RSM Classic at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St Simons Island, Ga.:

WINNER: Austin Cook earns his first PGA Tour win in just his 14th start on the circuit.

The PGA Tour rookie looked nothing like one all week, as Cook took the lead through 36 holes and never relented from there. Cook posted a second-round 8-under 62 at Seaside to move into a one-shot lead and didn’t make his first bogey until the 50th hole of the tournament.

Cook only made two bogeys over the final 36 holes, closing 66-67 to play the weekend in 7 under and finish four ahead at 21 under overall.

He closed it out for good by burying a 14-footer for birdie at the 71st hole to move his lead to three. He then put a cherry on top with another 14-footer for birdie at the last.

The poise should not be surprising for the 26-year-old despite his inexperience, as he made it through a number of Monday qualifiers for PGA Tour events a couple of years ago.

Cook proceeded to finish 15th on the Web.com Tour money list in 2017 to earn his PGA Tour card for 2017-18. Prior to this win, Cook had placed top 25 (with a best of T-20) in two of his first three starts this season. His best PGA Tour finish prior to this week was a tie for sixth at the 2015 Barbasol Championship.

Cook made an early bogey Sunday at No. 2 and his lead was down to one at some point, but he never flinched. Birdies at Nos. 7 and 15 ensured he’d have a cushion down the stretch, and then he closed out emphatically.

Welcome to Augusta, Rookie. Cook deserved a spot in the Masters, which he got with this win, and then some with his incredibly calm presence under pressure in his first time in this situation.

JUST MISSED: J.J. Spaun nearly holes out for eagle at 18 but settles for birdie to finish second at 17 under. Brian Gay does hole out for eagle to close in solo third at 16 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: What a magical finish, Mr. Gay.

QUOTABLE: “Yeah, I slept terrible last night.” – Austin Cook … well, the score didn’t show it!

SHORT SHOTS: Chris Kirk, the 18-hole leader, ties for fourth at 14 under. … Zach Johnson ties for eighth at 13 under. … Matt Kuchar ties for 29th at 8 under. … Patton Kizzire follows up his win last week with a T-45 showing at 6 under. … Braden Thornberry, the reigning NCAA individual champion and Haskins Award winner, shoots 74 but it’s still a nice T-61 for the Ole Miss junior. … Bubba Watson finishes solo 67th at 2 under.

UP NEXT: The Tour will now take a break, with the next event being the Sentry Tournament of Champions from Jan. 4-7. The Hero World Challenge, an unofficial event that marks Tiger Woods’ return, will take place Nov. 30-Dec. 3.

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