La'Cassie wins Cox Classic in playoff, earns PGA Tour card
Omaha, NE (Sports Network) - Bronson La'Cassie parred the third playoff hole on Sunday to defeat Matt Bettencourt and win the Cox Classic, the final regular-season event on the Web.com Tour schedule.
La'Cassie and Bettencourt shared the overnight lead and both players carded a 4-under 67 in the final round at Champions Run to finish the tournament at 21- under-par 263.
After forcing the playoff with birdies on his final two holes, La'Cassie twice matched Bettencourt's playoff pars before 2-putting for par and his inaugural Web.com Tour win on the third hole of the extra session.
La'Cassie not only won the tournament, but he also moved into the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list and secured a 2013-2014 PGA Tour card in the process.
Bettencourt too moved into the top 25 and earned a PGA Tour card after finishing runner-up for the second straight tournament.
"It fully hasn't sunk in yet, I'll have to think about it later," La'Cassie admitted in a televised interview. "I don't know what to say, it feels good to get my first win probably more than anything because it gives you a bit more belief that you can go on to the next level and keep doing it."
John Peterson wasn't as fortunate. He needed a birdie at the last to get into the playoff and crack the top 25, but his putt failed to fall and he settled for a final round 67 and a solo third finish at 20-under 264. Andrew Svoboda was the beneficiary, as he ended inside the bubble at No. 25 and secured his card courtesy of Peterson's par on No. 18.
Kevin Tway and D.J. Brigman shot 65 and 64, respectively, to share fourth place at 18-under 266, Russell Knox (66) took solo sixth at 17-under, and Alex Prugh (68) and Len Mattiace (67) tied for seventh at minus-16.
Michael Putnam tied for 12th place at 14-under and retained his No. 1 ranking on the money list. He earned full-exempt status for the 2013-2014 PGA Tour season and secured an invitation to the Players Championship.
"Starting the year my goal wasn't really to finish No. 1, it was to contend in tournaments and win tournaments and I've done that all year," Putnam said in a televised interview. "To win a couple early and then redo my goals in the middle of the year, definitely my goal the second half of the year was to stay No. 1."
Bettencourt was in control for much of the afternoon, fueled by a birdie- eagle stretch from No. 8 which gave him a 2-stroke lead at the turn. He added another birdie at the 10th, but La'Cassie eagled the hole to get within a stroke.
The margin moved back to a pair by the 17th, as Bettencourt bogeyed the 15th and La'Cassie dropped shots at the 12th and 16th.
As Bettencourt parred the par-5 17th, La'Cassie dropped his second shot within 10 feet and 2-putted from there to move within one. Peterson, playing in the same group as Bettencourt and La'Cassie, also birdied the hole to get within a shot.
All three players found the green in two at the par-4 last, with the leader the farthest away from the cup. Bettencourt nearly drained his lengthy birdie attempt and settled for par. Peterson also 2-putted for par, leaving a 10-foot birdie chance for La'Cassie, who drained the straightaway putt to force a playoff.
On the third playoff hole, both players again found the 18th green in two, and La'Cassie was again closer. Bettencourt was over 100 feet away and he 3- putted from there, while La'Cassie rolled his birdie effort within two feet and tapped in for par and the victory.
NOTES: The top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list after this tournament will move on to the four-event Web.com Tour finals, which begin next week at the Hotel Fitness Championship in Indiana ... La'Cassie had missed the cut in his previous two starts before this event ... Bettencourt's last win on tour came at the 2008 Nationwide Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch.
08/25 19:26:06 ET