Daniel Mazziotta finishes second, one back
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Sorrento, FL Jan. 17, 2013 – Since earning his Web.com Tour card in 2009, Rob Oppenheim has used the NGA TOUR Bridgestone Winter Series to keep his game sharp prior to the start of the season on the No. 2 tour.
Based on his performance this week, the Web.com opener, the Panama Claro Championship, can’t come soon enough.
Oppenheim of Andover, Mass., carded rounds of 67-63-71 for a 15-under 201 total en route to a one-stroke win over Daniel Mazziotta at Red Tail Golf Club on Thursday afternoon. Oppenheim’s victory was his fifth on the BWS since 2010.
“The NGA TOUR has always been a great place to play and get ready for the [Web.com Tour] season,” said Oppenheim, who earned $10,375. “The competition is great and guys are great. It’s a fun place to play. There is not a better way to test your game than to go against good players.”
And, despite carrying a three-shot lead into the final round, Oppenheim would find himself tested on Thursday.
After shooting a tournament-low 9-under 63 in the second round to build the three-shot margin, Oppenheim found himself in trouble early and often in Thursday’s final round. Wayward drives on No. 1 and No. 5 left Oppenheim with a pair of double bogeys and dropped him from the top spot in the scoring pylon. Oppenheim quickly bounced back with a birdie on No. 6, but he made the turn two shots behind Pensacola’s Will Dottley.
“I started the day with a ball OB is not the way you envision the day starting,” said Oppenheim. “I had another one on No. 5, so it was definitely a tough start. I battled, hung in there and luckily my putter heated up on the back nine.”
On the 10th hole, an Oppenheim birdie and Dottley bogey evened the match – but not for long. Oppenheim ran off four birdies in a five-hole span to build a two-shot lead. Unfortunately for Oppenheim, a bogey on No. 16 and a par on No. 17 left him clinging to a one-stroke lead with wind and rain moving into the area. To up the pressure, Oppenheim missed the fairway on the finishing hole.
“I was 207 with rain starting come and into the wind with a hooked lie in the rough,” said Oppenheim. “I took a hybrid out and probably hit my best shot of the week. I hit it up to about 15 feet. Unfortunately, I didn’t hit the birdie putt, but it was good enough for a one-shot win.”
Mazziotta of Fort Myers finished with rounds of 70-65-65 for a 14-under 202 total and earned $5,187 for the runner-up effort. The second-place showing was the fourth of his career for the Florida Gulf Coast alumnus.
Stephan Jaeger of Munich, Germany, used a Thursday-low 66 to move from a tie for 11th into a tie for third at 13-under par. Jeff Corr, the 2011 NGA TOUR Player of the Year, also finished T3 after posting rounds of 70-66-67. Jaeger and Corr earned $3,879 each.
Chris Ross (67) and Joel Dahlenburg (67) finished tied for fifth at 12-under par, James White (68) and Dottley (72) finished T7 at 11 under and Andy Pope (68) finished ninth at 10-under par.
Riley Wheeldon (68) and Harold Varner (70) finished in a tie for 10th at 9-under par for the tournament.
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