Castle Rock, Colo.
In a tournament that traditionally features low scores and a rapid accumulation of points on the final day, the leaders merely survived.
Tom Pernice, the second- and third-round leader at The International, added just one point to his Stableford scoring total in the final round, finishing with 34 points for a 1-point victory over Chris Riley.
Wearing a button on his cap that read “This Dad is loved a lot,” Tom Pernice Jr. won one for his kids.
Drawing inspiration from a visit by his two young daughters, Pernice steadied himself down the stretch to win The International Sunday, the second PGA Tour title of his career.
The button was given to Pernice by his daughters for Father’s Day, and he has worn it ever since.
“They are the two most important things in my life, and it’s just great to have them here,” said Pernice, who became choked up while discussing his daughters from a broken marriage – Kristen, 7, and Brooke, 6.
“They have been great all week. I got in the lead on Friday and they kept saying, ‘You’re going to win, Dad, you’re going to win.’ ”
Vijay Singh, Chris DiMarco and defending champ Ernie Els tied at 32.
With a front-nine burst capped by an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole, DiMarco built a 6-point lead in the final round, moving to 39 points compared to Pernice’s 33. But DiMarco gave most of it back with two double bogeys and three bogeys on his next eight holes.
“This is very disappointing,” DiMarco said. “I’ve put myself in position to win a lot out here. I think this is the first win that I’ve really thrown away.”
Singh also had a chance to win, trailing Pernice by just a point before driving into the creek on No. 17 and taking bogey.
Pernice, 41, whose only previous victory was the 1999 Buick Open, took the lead to stay with a birdie at the par-5 14th. After bogeys on the next two holes, he parred the final two, including two-putting from 40 feet on the 18th, to earn $720,000.