Iowa alum holds off Ryan Brehm for first win
Bay Lake, Fla. – December 20, 2012 – If the Mayans are right, Barrett Kelpin will go down as the last NGA TOUR Bridgestone Winter Series winner in history. If they’re wrong, Kelpin looks to have a bright future in front of him.
Kelpin, a former University of Iowa standout from Kalamazoo, Mich., posted a bogey-free 66 in the final round of the BWS event on the Disney – Magnolia course and edged out Ryan Brehm for the victory on Thursday afternoon. The win was his first on the NGA TOUR and came in just his seventh start.
“This feels great,” said Kelpin, who finished at 14-under par. “I’m so glad I came down here to play on the NGA TOUR. I’ve worked hard and to get a win out here does a lot for my confidence going forward.”
Kelpin started the day three shots behind Brehm and co-leader Sean Jacklin, but the 2012 All-Big 10 team member posted four birdies on the front nine to move into contention. The former Hawkeye added his fifth birdie of the day on No. 10 and his last on No. 13.
“I didn’t think anybody was going to go real low in the final round,” said Kelpin, who earned $10,700 for the victory. “I knew if I posted 6 or 7 under I had a chance.”
After his birdie on No. 13, Kelpin reached 6 under for the day with plenty of holes to play. While he was unable to separate himself from the field over the final five holes, Kelpin did manage to keep any blemishes off his scorecard coming down the stretch.
“There was a little less pressure coming from behind,” said Kelpin. “I felt like I could keep my foot on the gas and it took some pressure off. There were some nerves being in the hunt, but I was comfortable.”
The comfort showed on the closing holes.
“I think my best shots of the day were my drives on No. 17 and No. 18,” said Kelpin. “The drive on No. 17 was the hardest on the course and I hit a great shot. On No. 18, I hit my best tee shot and hit an approach in there close. I hoped to get a couple more birdies, but I didn’t. I’m just glad it was enough.”
Kelpin finished with rounds of 69-67-66 for a 14-under 202 total. After posting five bogeys in his first 27 holes, Kelpin played the final 27 holes without losing a stroke en route to his first NGA TOUR victory.
“My chipping and putting were great this week,” said Kelpin. “I did a good job of making par-savers. Hands down, my putting was the biggest contributor in the win. This win gives me belief in my game going forward.”
Brehm had a chance to send the match to extra holes, but the Michigan State alum from East Lansing, Mich., was unable to convert a birdie on the final hole and finished solo second at 13-under par. Brehm, who posted rounds of 67-66-70 for a 13-under 203 total, earned $5,500 for the runner-up effort on Thursday.
Bradenton’s Jacklin, the son of two-time major championship winner Tony Jacklin, finished third after posting rounds of 68-65-73 for a 10-under 206 total.
Michael Tobiason of Wilmington, Del., carded a 5-under 67 in the final round move from T12 into fourth at 9-under par, while Jesse Smith of Barrington, N.H., shot a 1-under 71 to finish fifth at 7-under par.
Jamie Sindelar (67), James Vargas (70), Chris Ross (69) and Hernan Piri Borja (71) finished T6 at 6-under par. Justin Martinson (70), Jesse Hutchins (72), Daniel Mazziotta (73) and Chase Wright (75) finished T10 at 5-under par.
The NGA TOUR would like to thank all the competitors and staff at The Magnolia Golf Club for a great event. The BWS will return to action on Jan. 8, 2013 at Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla.
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