Jared Wolfe finishes second, five shots back
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – December 6, 2012 – After opening with a course-record 63, T.J. Howe of Osceloa, Pa., never looked back and pulled away for a five-stroke win in the NGA TOUR Carolina Winter Series event at Long Bay Golf Club on Thursday.
“It was really important to get off to a good start,” said Howe. “I just kept putting the ball in play and I made a lot of putts. Once I got the momentum going, I was able to keep it for the entire round.”
Howe, a former Penn State All-American, posted rounds of 72 and 71 over the final two days, but his stellar start allowed him to finish with a 10-under 206 total and five shots clear of runner-up Jared Wolfe.
“I had never had gone that low in an opening round, so I was a little uncomfortable,” said Howe, who earned $5,700. “I felt like I was hanging on in the second round, but I settled back in and played well.”
After going bogey-free in the first round, Howe posted three bogeys and a double bogey in the second round, but his five birdies allowed him to escape with an even-par 72. Howe entered the final round with a three-shot lead and wasted little time stretching his lead, birdieing two of his first three holes.
With the winds picking up in the final round, Howe needed just to avoid major mistakes down the stretch to secure his second NGA TOUR victory. While he stumbled a bit, carding a double bogey and two bogeys, Howe’s three birdies left him well ahead of the field at the conclusion of the event.
“I felt like the winner would come out of the final group because of the conditions were cold and windy,” said Howe. “The course was setup tough for the final round, and I knew it would be hard for anyone to go low. I just tried to stay focused, commit and execute, and I was able to do that.”
Wolfe, a Murray State alumnus from Louisville, Ky., carded rounds of 67-72-72 for a 5-under 211 total to finish second. Wolfe, a two-time Carolina Series winner, earned $2,840 for the runner-up effort.
Adam Hart of Blythewood and Joe Young of Cochran, Ga., finished tied for third at 4-under par. Hart, a former Francis Marion standout, posted an even-par 72 in the final round, while Young, a former Georgia College and State stalwart, shot a 2-under 70.
Murrells Inlet’s Zack Byrd shot a 72 in the final round to finish in a tie for fifth with Jack Fields (72) at 3-under par. Lake City’s Paul Woodbury (74) finished seventh at 2-under par, while Chase Carroll (72), Sam Beach (77) and David Sanchez (73) ended the three-round event tied for eighth at 1-under par.
The NGA TOUR Carolina Winter Series would like to thank all the players and staff at Long Bay Golf Club for a great event. The CWS will return to action next week at River Hills Golf Club.
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