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Nick Flanagan gains PGA Tour promotion

Australia's Nick Flanagan won his third Nationwide Tour title of the year to earn an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour, closing with a 7-under 63 on Sunday to beat James Driscoll by a stroke in the Xerox Classic.

The 23-year-old Flanagan, the 2003 U.S. Amateur champion, made a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to finish at 10-under 270 on the Irondequoit Country Club course. He began the round seven strokes behind Driscoll.

"Making it to the PGA Tour is a dream come true," said Flanagan, the eighth player in tour history to earn an in-season PGA Tour promotion. "A lot of things went right for me today. Then I rolled in the putt on the last hole and the rest is history.

"My goal ever since I turned pro was to play out here on the Nationwide Tour and ultimately make it to the PGA Tour. If I wasn't playing out here and learning I wouldn't be as good of a player as I am right now. These guys are so good out here. Playing against them taught me I had to work harder to see results."

Because of the PGA Tour's new four-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs, he'll have to wait a month to play on the PGA Tour.

"This tournament just ended. I don't know what I'm doing yet," Flanagan said. "I'm going to sit down over the next few days and figure it all out."

He had an eagle and five birdies in the bogey-free round to beat Driscoll, who parred the final two holes after dropping two strokes on he par-4 16th.

"I didn't have anything to lose today," Flanagan said. "I was out there to win and I pulled it off. But (realistically) he was so far ahead, I really wasn't thinking about winning the golf tournament -- not until the last four holes at least. To run him down was good, but it took a little luck as well."

Flanagan earned $108,000 for a season total of $369,951. He won the Henrico County Open and BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs in consecutive starts in April and May.

Driscoll closed with a 71.

"Never at any point today did I feel like I was unraveling," Driscoll said. "It hurts to lead every day and not get it done. It wasn't nerves. It was just one double bogey and Nick shot a 63. Congratulations to him. He is a great player and deserves to be on the PGA Tour."

Jason Day (69) finished third at 7 under.


August 20, 2007

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