Bettencourt Breaks Through
Bettencourt won despite played the last seven holes in one-over par.
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Matt Bettencourt eagled on the 11th hole, then held off Bob Heintz by a stroke to win for the first time on the PGA Tour.
Bettencourt capped his 4-under 68 with a bogey on No. 18 after a birdie on 17, finishing the Reno-Tahoe Open at 11-under 277 Sunday. After his eagle on the par-5 11th, he played the final seven holes in 1 over par. He also bogeyed the par-4 14th at Montreux Golf & Country Club.
Heintz (69) missed a three-foot birdie putt on the 18 that would have forced a playoff.
He started the week trying to qualify for a Nationwide Tour event in Ohio before he was notified he'd qualified for Reno and hopped plane to Nevada on Tuesday.
John Merrick and Mathias Gronberg each shot 69 and tied for third at 9-under.
Robert Gamez (68), Matt Jones (68), Alex Cejka (69), Kevin Stadler (70) and Craig Barlow (72) all finished another stroke back at 8-under.
Bettencourt won the money title on the Nationwide Tour in 2008 and tied for 10th at the U.S. Open last year. He finished 111th on the PGA money list with $740,037 that year.
This win qualified him to play in the PGA Championship for the first time.
Bettencourt had a three-stroke lead with five holes to play Sunday but failed to get up and down out of a greenside bunker on the 491-yard 14th.
He drove into the rough left on the 477-yard par-4 15th and had to hook his approach around a tree 165 yards to just right of the green.
He chipped up to 6 feet and made the par putt and scrambled his way to another par on the par-3 16th when he missed the green off the tee, but chipped up to 8 feet.
On the 636-yard, par-5 17th, Bettencourt hit his second shot into a greenside bunker but blasted out to 5 feet and rolled in the birdie to get to 12-under, two strokes ahead of Heintz, who made an 8-foot birdie putt on the 17th to set up the drama on the final hole.
Earlier, Bettencourt chipped in from 10 feet away in the rough at the par-5 ninth for his third birdie of the day to make the turn with a one-stroke lead over Heintz.
On the 584-yard 11th, he hit his second shot 276 yards onto the edge of the green and made a 7-footer for eagle.
Scott McCarron, a former Reno resident and Montreux member who served as the tournament host, started the day at 10-under with a one-stroke lead over John Mallinger and Robert Garrigus. But he fell to a tie for 35th at 1 under with five bogeys and two double bogeys on the way to an 81.
Mallinger had a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 616-yard 9th -- dropping twice from unplayable lies after driving wide left into the trees and sage brush -- en route to a 77 and a tie for 21st.