Nine days before his one-year anniversary of turning pro, Cameron Champ picked up his first career PGA Tour victory.
Champ, who decided Nov. 6, 2017, to forego his final semester at Texas A&M, completed his wire-to-wire win Sunday at the Sanderson Farms Championship with a final-round, 4-under 68 at the Country Club of Jackson (Miss.).
The 23-year-old Sacramento, Calif., native led Corey Conners by four shots entering the final day, but found himself tied with the Canadian at 16 under with six holes to play. Champ then birdied four straight holes and capped his week with birdied on five of his last six to finish at 21 under and win by four.
Champ, known for his prodigious length off the tee and eye-popping Trackman numbers, led the field in driving distance for the tournament, averaging 343.5 yards on a course that received some rain during the week. He hit three drives of more than 320 yards in his final five holes, including a 338-yard drive on the par-4 18th hole that left him just 160 into the green. He stuck his approach to 7 feet and drained the closing birdie putt.
Oh, and he played Sunday with a replacement driver after cracking his previous driver head on the range shortly before his tee time.
After earning his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour last season, Champ now is exempt on Tour for two years and will play in next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, Players Championship and PGA Championship among other events. He was T-32 in his major debut, at the 2017 U.S. Open.
Several other Web.com Tour graduates notched career-best finishes at Sanderson, including LSU product Sam Burns and Illinois grad Dylan Meyer. Burns, also in his first year on Tour (though not technically a rookie), tied for third. Meyer shared seventh.
Last season’s player of the year in college golf, Norman Xiong, contended through 36 holes before finishing T-26.