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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > PGA Tour > Frys.com Open > Round 4


Troy Matteson claims maiden PGA Tour win

Rookie Troy Matteson was a bit tense when he stood over the putt that could set up his first PGA Tour victory. Never mind that he needed only to two-putt from 8 feet.

"I was trying not to hit it into the lake. I was just so nervous, really," said Matteson, who nudged that putt within inches of the hole and then tapped in for the win.

"I'm just glad it was about 8 or 9 inches because I can usually handle those," Matteson said, smiling after his long Sunday on the golf course ended with the Frys.com Open title.

Consistently hitting his approach shots close and remaining cool and collected on the tense final holes, Matteson shot a 3-under 69 to finish one shot ahead of Ben Crane and Daniel Chopra.

Matteson, who had to complete the last six holes of the rain-delayed third round early in the morning before beginning the final 18 holes, finished at 22-under 265.

Crane, a two-time winner on the tour, shot a 65, and Chopra, left looking for his first victory, had a 66.

"I didn't really expect to win an event this year. It's an unbelievable feeling," said Matteson, who has strung together three good finishes.

His Las Vegas win followed a tie for sixth at Greensboro and a tie for eighth the previous week after he struggled for much of his first year on the tour.

He seemed primed to join the best.

A three-time All-American at Georgia Tech and the 2002 NCAA champion, Matteson won twice last year on the Nationwide Tour and broke the developmental tour's money record with $495,009.

Playing in the final group with Chopra and nursing a one-shot lead, Matteson stuck his second shot on the 444-yard, par-4 18th within 8 feet. Chopra missed his birdie try from 18 feet, then Matteson two-putted to put it away.

He raised his arms, then tipped his hat to acknowledge the applause from the gallery.

After a bogey at No. 13, he eased away from a four-way tie at 20 under with birdies at Nos. 14 and 16. Crane, Frank Lickliter II and Charley Hoffman briefly were even with him at the top.

Lickliter shot a 64 to finish fourth at 20 under, and Hoffman had a 71 to tie for fifth at 19 under.

Crane, coming off a back injury, was pleased to be in contention.

"I'm pretty ecstatic to have a chance," he said. "That's what you want to do out here. "I played well down the stretch, but Troy played better. My hat's off to him."

Matteson credited his brother, who was caddying for him during the tournament, with keeping him calm.

"The main thing with most players is to try to keep their confidence high," said 29-year-old J.T. Matteson. "I reminded Troy about his ball-striking; he's been phenomenal."

The elder Matteson said that, as his brother lined up the 8-footer on No. 18, "He wanted to make that putt, but I told him just be sure to cozy it up."

An early morning had stretched into early evening by the time Matteson finished the 24 holes he had to navigate on the final day.

Lighting on Friday afternoon and thunderstorms that night and into Saturday morning had put the tournament behind schedule. Matteson was among 45 players who had to complete their third rounds early Sunday morning before beginning the final 18 holes.

He was a total of 16 under through 12 holes Saturday when third-round play was halted because of darkness. He birdied three of the six remaining holes to finally complete that round with a 64 that put him 19 under when he began the final 18 holes shortly later.

"I was definitely tired in the backstretch," Matteson said.

Crane and Chopra were among those who were able to complete their third rounds on Saturday.

Jim Furyk, the champion in 1995, 1998 and 1999 and beaten by West Short Jr. on the second hole of a playoff last year, finished with a 66 to tie for 16th at 15 under.

Short, whose Las Vegas win is his only tour victory, struggled to a 74 on the final day this time and finished at 5 under.

Fred Couples and Woody Austin were disqualified for stopping play on Saturday evening before play was suspended by darkness. It was uncertain whether they thought the horn had blown ending play. Neither was in contention.



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