Doug Tewell knew he’d have to go low to beat Bruce Fleisher. His 8-under-par 64 was just low enough.
Tewell finished off his third consecutive bogey-free round Aug. 22 by rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole, defeating Fleisher (68) by a stroke at the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.
“I was aggressive all day,” Tewell said. “I got off to a great start, and knew after about seven holes it was going to be a shootout.”
It was the eighth Champions Tour victory for Tewell, who finished at 14-under 202, and marked the fifth consecutive year he has won at least one event. He earned $240,000 for the victory, his first in 14 months.
Morris Hatalsky (66) birdied the final two holes to finish third at 10-under 206, one shot ahead of Jerry Pate (68).
Fleisher entered Sunday’s play with a three-shot lead thanks to a 7-under 65 in Round 2, and had won 12 of 15 events in which he held the lead going into the final round. But Tewell started hot, making birdie on each of the first three holes – including a hole-out from a bunker on No. 2 – and never let up. He needed only 22 putts in the final round, and took the lead for good when Fleisher bogeyed the 118-yard 15th hole.
“Doug played very well, and he had to,” Fleisher said. “When you shoot 64, you’re supposed to win.”