Former Bulldog Swafford wins in Athens
Athens, GA (Sports Network) - Former Georgia golfer Hudson Swafford fired a nine-under 62 on Sunday at the Stadion Classic at UGA, but came away with the victory only after Luke List bogeyed his final hole.
Swafford's course-record round sent him into the clubhouse at 17-under par, a score that List matched with a birdie at the 17th hole. But List, last week's winner at the South Georgia Classic, bogeyed his last to fall out of the tie for first.
The error allowed Swafford, a rookie, to claim his first Nationwide Tour victory. Swafford's total of 17-under 267 matched Paul Gow's tournament record from 2006.
"I couldn't see it. I heard it hit the pin and then I heard everybody just go nuts," Swafford said of his bunker shot at the last. "When I went up there and saw it had disappeared, I blacked out to be honest. To hole out a bunker shot to win a golf tournament is amazing."
List and two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, who both fired six-under 65s, shared second at 16-under 268. Billy Horschel (68) was fourth at minus-15.
Third-round leader Tyrone van Aswegen (70) struggled to make birdies and fell to fifth at 14-under.
Last year, Russell Henley was a senior at the University of Georgia when he won, becoming the second amateur in Nationwide Tour history to win an event.
Swafford continued the Bulldog tradition this year thanks to a strong back nine and a little luck.
He started his round poorly, with a bogey, but rebounded with a birdie at two. Swafford ran off three birdies in a row from the fifth to make the turn at minus-11, and still lagged behind the leaders.
But Swafford soon got to the top of the leaderboard, draining three consecutive birdies from the 11th to get to 14-under. His last in that stretch pulled him even for first with Horschel, but Swafford used another three- birdie run to move in front by himself.
He drained a 12-footer at the 16th to take the lead, but List was hot on Swafford's heels.
List began the day at 10-under and sank four birdies on the front nine. He drained a birdie at No. 12 around the same time Swafford made his at the 16th to reach 15-under.
They stayed even with birdies at their next holes -- Swafford at the 17th, List at 13.
Swafford then separated himself from List with a birdie at the last. He found a greenside bunker, but holed out for birdie to re-gain first at 17-under, while List parred three in a row to remain stuck at 16-under.
List jumped back into a share of first with a birdie at 17, and had a chance to take an outright victory with another at the last. He would have forced a playoff with only a par.
Instead, List sent his drive at the par-four 18th into the trees, and his second shot hit a branch. He was four feet off the green after his third shot and couldn't save par.
The bogey knocked him one excruciating stroke behind and left him without a chance to catch up.
Horschel had a good chance to catch Swafford, sitting at 15-under following his birdie at the 15th. But he parred out to remain two back.
NOTES: Swafford earned $99,000 for the victory...The Nationwide Tour takes next week off before returning May 17-20 for the BMW Charity Pro-Am, which Garth Mulroy won last year.
05/06 19:42:49 ET