D.A. Points hangs on in wild final round to win Puerto Rico Open title by two strokes
Jared C. Tilton
D A. Points showed an impressive finishing kick, birdieing four of the last six holes Sunday at Coco Beach Golf & Country Club to close out a six-under 66 and a two-stroke victory at the Puerto Rico Open.
The 40-year-old PGA Tour veteran, who kept his tour card last year by finishing 37th on the Web.com Tour Finals points list, claimed his third career tour title and his first since the 2013 Shell Houston Open with a 20-under 268 total, two strokes clear of Retief Goosen, Bryson DeChambeau and Bill Lunde.
Teeing off early in threesomes on the first and 10th tee due to predicted bad weather, Points knew he’d have to post a low number to come out on top after seeing the scores being shot early. Goosen, teeing off more than an hour ahead of Points, shot a final-round 64 to jump from T-15 to start the day into contention with an 18-under total.
Points, however, proved up for the challenge, making birdies the first five holes on Sunday to separate himself from third-round leader Chris Stroud (who shot a closing 71 to finish T-8).
With bogeys on Nos. 6, 8 and 10, it appeared Points had lost him momentum, Goosen taking the clubhouse lead. But that’s when Points rallied, making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th holes, plus one more on the par-5 18th to seal his victory.
“I can’t even begin to explain what this means,” said Points, who finished outside the top 125 on the FedEx Cup point list in 2015-'16 but kept his card via the Web.com Tour Final Series. “Couple really awful years, I pretty much hit rock bottom. Put my family through a lot. To be able to find the strength and courage to stay calm and win is something I didn’t know I had in me.”
Starting the day two strokes back of Stroud was Andrew (Beef) Johnston, the fan favorite playing in his first year on the PGA Tour. Johnston’s two-under 70 left him five shots back in a tie for 10th.
Other notable finishes came from DeChambeau, who shot a bogey-free 67 to post his best-ever tour finish; Sam Saunders, who closed with a 65 to tie for fifth place, his fourth career top-10 tour finish; and Peter Uihlein, whose Sunday 66 also lifted him to T-5, his second best showing in a tour event.