Gonzales closes out Soboba Classic victory
San Jacinto, CA (Sports Network) - Andres Gonzales shot just even-par 71 on Sunday, but it was enough for him to close out a wire-to-wire win at the Soboba Golf Classic.
Gonzales finished at eight-under-par 276 for his first Nationwide Tour victory. He was two strokes ahead of Andrew Svoboda, who also shot 71 to stay in second at minus-six.
Gonzales had shot under par in each of his first three rounds, and two late bogeys trimmed his advantage. But Svoboda didn't make a birdie on the back nine, while Gonzales parred his final two to secure the victory.
"I was nervous today because I knew if I won this one I'd have a pretty good chance of getting back on the PGA Tour," Gonzales, who was a PGA rookie in 2011, said.
Gonzales made only nine cuts in 21 PGA starts and wound up No. 192 on the money list.
Alistair Presnell (68) and Michael Letzig (70) shared third at five-under 279.
Gonzales parred his first four holes, and Svoboda, playing one group in front, got one stroke closer to the lead with a birdie at No. 3.
Svoboda then drained an eagle at the sixth to reach minus-nine, but he couldn't grab the lead because Gonzales was busy making birdie behind at the fifth.
It seemed like a good setup for a battle down the stretch, but Svoboda never got deeper into red numbers. He made the turn at nine-under and immediately started going backward on the back nine, with bogeys on his first two holes.
Meanwhile, Gonzales birdied the eighth to go around the turn at minus-10. He bogeyed the 10th, but got that stroke right back with a birdie at 11.
Svoboda fell to minus-six with another bogey at the 13th, and at that point Gonzales held a four-stroke advantage. The leader bogeyed 15 and 16 to dip back down to eight-under.
"After those two holes I thought I would be pretty close to being tied," Gonzales said. "The first time I knew where I stood for the day was when we got to 17 tee."
While Gonzales didn't birdie either of the final two holes, he didn't cede first.
"I really wanted that last putt so I could shoot all four rounds under par," he said. "But when you have four strokes to play with, I didn't mind tapping in for par. It's nice not to have to think about anything, I'll tell you that much."
Adam Hadwin began the day tied for second with Svoboda, but shot a two-over 73 and finished in a tie for fifth. Camilo Benedetti (70) and Justin Hicks (67) also shared fifth at four-under.
NOTES: Gonzales collected $135,000 for the victory...Svoboda has two second- place finishes this season. He shared second with Gonzales at the season- opening Colombia Championship...Next week, the Nationwide Tour stays in California for the TPC Stonebrae Championship. Daniel Chopra won last year's event.
04/08 22:22:36 ET