Stiles pulls out News Sentinel Open win
Farragut, TN (Sports Network) - Darron Stiles overcame big rounds by several opponents to win Sunday at the News Sentinel Open, shooting a 4-under 67 to take the title by a single stroke.
Scott Gardiner had put pressure on Stiles, the third-round leader, by firing a course-record, 9-under 62 to reach minus-17 at Fox Den Country Club. D.J. Brigman and Nicholas Thompson had rounds of 63 and 64, respectively, to reach the same number.
But Stiles did just enough to keep his lead, winning with a score of 18-under 266. He began his day with a bogey, but didn't make another mistake during his round, which included a back-nine eagle and birdie that put him into first place.
Stiles claimed his fifth Web.com Tour title, but first since the 2006 Rheem Classic. It is also Stiles' second victory at this tournament, which he also won a decade ago.
Gardiner, Brigman and Thompson shared second place, while Erik Flores (68) took fifth.
John Daly shot a 4-under 67 and shared sixth at 15-under par.
Stiles began the final round with a 1-shot lead over Flores and Patrick Sheehan, neither of whom put up a number low enough to get into first place. While Flores managed to stay near the top of the leaderboard, Sheehan managed just an even-par 71 and finished in 13th at minus-13.
Sunday's biggest move toward the top of the leaderboard came from Gardiner, who was tied for 22nd after the third round.
But he played a round without a single bogey, and birdied Nos. 4 and 5 to reach 10-under.
Then, a birdie at the ninth began a stretch where he made seven birdies in eight holes. The only hole he didn't birdie in that span was the 12th, and by the time he finished the 16th, he was sitting at minus-17. He ended his round with two pars.
Brigman reached 17-under by carding nine birdies and a single bogey, while Thompson had eight birdies and one bogey.
Stiles had the benefit of being able to know what number he had to beat. Gardiner played 13 groups prior to Stiles, while Brigman was seven pairings ahead and Thompson five.
Stiles initially dipped to minus-13 with his opening bogey, but got the stroke back at the second. He also birdied the fifth to make the turn at minus-15.
His pivotal hole was the 10th, where he made an eagle to immediately jump to 17-under. Stiles then birdied No. 14 to get the lead back, and he parred his final four holes to hold on for the victory.
"This is the spring board for the rest of the year. Now that I got a win, I can get another one," said Stiles. "It will free me up for the rest of the year. I can be more aggressive."
NOTES: Stiles pocketed $90,000 for the victory...Next week, the Web.com Tour heads to Canonsburg, Pennsylvania for the Mylan Classic. Gary Christian won in 2011.
08/26 19:58:41 ET