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Evansville, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Smylie Kaufman shot a 1-over 73 in Sunday's final round, but it was more than enough as he went on to win his first Web.com Tour title by five shots at the United Leasing Championship.
Kaufman finished the week at 10-under-par 278. Prior to this week, he had three missed cuts and two ties for fourth in five events this season.
"Just blown away, shocked. Quite can't comprehend it all," Kaufman said about his feelings following his win. "Just so grateful. So excited about getting the victory.
"It means everything. Somebody informed me that it's probably going to be enough money to be on the PGA Tour next year and that's where I want to be. That's where I feel like I should be, so it means everything."
Jonathan Randolph (69), Adam Long (73) and Ryan Spears (74) were the closest finishers to the winner at Victoria National Golf Club. The trio ended five shots back and tied for second at 5-under 283.
Patton Kizzire (70), Tim Herron (72) and Michael Hebert (74) finished one shot further back at minus-4.
Heading into the day with a 4-shot lead following a record-tying 64 on Saturday, Kaufman continued his hot play on the front nine as he rolled in three straight birdies from No. 2.
At 14-under, Kaufman held an 8-shot lead heading to the ninth, where he began a slight descent. A bogey on nine dropped him down a shot and his lead was cut to seven.
Kaufman responded right away with a birdie on 10 and the lead was back to eight. That was his last birdie of the day, however as the 23-year-old struggled down the stretch.
Kaufman found the water off the tee on 12, which led to a double-bogey and trimmed his lead to six. Following a trio of pars from 13, Kaufman tripped to another double-bogey at the par-3 16th. Just like that his lead was cut to four, but there were only two holes left.
While his chasers fell back and Kaufman's lead improved to five, he finished up with a pair of pars to earn his first career victory.
"Stuck to my guns and just stayed committed to all the shots. I had a couple hiccups on the back nine, but it's hard not to on this golf course," Kaufman stated. "I did my best to stay committed to every golf shot and you know just tried to execute to the best of my ability."
NOTES: Kaufman missed out on the tournament record of 277 by one shot. Peter Tomasulo and David Lingmerth originally set the record in 2012 before they were joined by Ben Martin, Joe Affrunti, Ashley Hall and Billy Hurley III ... Kaufman earned $108,000 with the win ... The Web.com Tour returns in two weeks with the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina, where Max Homa won last year.
05/03 19:51:40 ET
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