2005: Willis ends four-year victory wait
Garrett Willis had waited four years for that winning feeling. Finally, the wait is over.
Willis, who won the PGA Tour’s Tucson Open in 2001, earned another victory with a one-shot triumph over three players at the Nationwide Tour’s Envirocare Utah Classic.
“I couldn’t wait to get started because I knew if I played well I could get back to the PGA Tour,” Willis said.
Willis shot a final-round 70 to finish at 13-under 275, one better than Kris Cox (68), Brian Henninger (69) and Mathew Goggin (70). Willis won $85,500 to move from No. 79 to No. 24 on the Nationwide Tour’s money list. The top 20 players earn 2006 PGA Tour cards.
Willis is the first former PGA Tour winner to take a Nationwide event since Guy Boros won the 2003 Dayton Open. The 31-year-old Willis is the fourth consecutive first-time winner on the Nationwide Tour
and the 14th overall this year.
Willis two-putted for par on the last hole, including a 3-footer to win.
“I was shaking like a 50-cent ladder on that last putt,” said Willis, who lost his PGA Tour card last year.
“Just like when I won in Tucson, I didn’t think about winning until the last putt.”
Henninger, who was tied with Willis at 13 under heading to the final hole, had a chance at victory. But his approach to No. 18 took a bad bounce into a water hazard. He made bogey.
“It was the worst break I’ve ever had in my career,” Henninger said.
“It was a heart-breaking way to finish the tournament.”
– Staff and wire reports