2001: Points rules Inland Empire

Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Winning is big any time of year, but it becomes even more important as the season winds down and the money list becomes the order of the day.

Despite the added autumn pressure and the rigors of a three-hole playoff, D.A. Points took a simple approach to the $76,500 victory that vaulted him from 128th to 38th on the Buy.com money list.

“I just stayed out of my own way,” said Points, 24, after winning the Inland Empire Open, his first victory on the Buy.com Tour. “I wanted to be loose all week.”

Points was loose enough to outlast Rod Pampling and Mark Wurtz in the playoff after the three players ended regulation play at 21 under. On the first playoff hole, Wurtz splashed his approach shot in water bordering the par-5 18th hole and made par. Pampling and Points each made birdie and proceeded to matched pars on the second extra hole. Back at No. 18 for the third extra hole, Points two-putted from 65 feet for birdie while Pampling missed an 8-foot effort that would have extended the playoff.

Pampling continued the steady play that finds him third on the money list despite not winning a tournament this season. He has finished in the top three in three of the last four tournaments and wrapped up a PGA Tour card for next year. The $279,338 he earned this year is a Buy.com Tour record for the most money won without a victory.

Points, a Buy.com Tour rookie, shot 65-66-68-68 to became the 14th first-time winner on the tour this year. Having made nine cuts in 15 starts prior to the week, there was no indication he was about break through.

“This year, I wasn’t sure,” Points said. “I . . . was just waiting for the putts to fall.”

– From staff and wire reports

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