Lingmerth rallies to win Neediest Kids Championship
Potomac, MD (Sports Network) - David Lingmerth fired a 4-under 66 in damp, chilly conditions Sunday to rally and win the Neediest Kids Championship.
Lingmerth, who won for the first time on the Web.com Tour, finished at 8- under-par 272.
The 25-year-old was one of just 11 players that broke par in the final round and his 66 was the low score of the day by two strokes.
"It feels fantastic. I've been working my whole life for an opportunity to play with the big boys. This is huge because I've been close a few times," said Lingmerth, who earned enough money to lock up his PGA Tour card for 2013. "It took me a little while, but this feels great."
Casey Wittenberg carded a 1-under 69 to grab second place at minus-7. With that, he will take over the top spot on the tour's money list from Luke Guthrie, who missed the cut this week.
Alistair Presnell and Philip Pettitt, Jr. both shot 69 on Sunday and they shared third place at 6-under 274 at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
Third-round leader Josh Persons struggled to a 7-over 77. He tumbled into a tie for eighth at minus-1.
Lingmerth started his round with a birdie on the par-5 second. After three pars, he birdied the sixth to move to 6-under.
He was three groups ahead of the leaders, and as he parred three in a row from the seventh, Persons tumbled backwards. Persons double-bogeyed the sixth, and followed with bogeys at seven and eight to slide to minus-4.
Lingmerth moved to 9-under with back-to-back birdies from the 13th. He led by three at that point, but his winning margin was trimmed by a bogey at the last.
"I was really calm all day. You've really got to golf your ball out here. The key ingredient this week was that I finally got to make some putts," Lingmerth admitted. "I knew I wasn't putting up to my ability this year and I finally found a feeling that I like."
Wittenberg was 3-over par for his first eight holes. Around the turn, he started to make his move with birdies on 10 and 12. Wittenberg also birdied Nos. 14 and 16 to get to 7-under. His 40-foot birdie effort at the last narrowly missed giving Lingmerth the win.
NOTES: Lingmerth earned $108,000 for the win and moved to No. 7 on the money list, and he is guaranteed his PGA Tour card for next year ... Lingmerth is the 15th first-time winner in 24 events this season ... Garrett Willis withdrew before the final round started ... Despite his tough day, Persons, a Monday qualifier, gets into next week's field in Miami thanks to the top-25 finish ... The Web.com Tour is in Florida next week for the Miccosukee Championship, where Jason Kokrak won by seven shots last year.
10/07 18:26:27 ET