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Tidland rallies for Wichita Open win



Wichita, KS (Sports Network) - Chris Tidland made a 20-foot eagle putt on the 72nd hole Sunday to take the solo lead for the first time in the final round.

When no one in the final two groups could catch him, the Wichita Open title was Tidland's.

He shot a six-under 65 and finished at 16-under-par 268. It was Tidland's second Nationwide Tour title.

Chad Collins owned at least a share of the lead nearly the entire final round. He birdied the last to shoot a one-under 70 and join Dave Schultz (67) at minus-15.

Third-round leader Jhonattan Vegas was four-over par through 10 holes and never recovered. He closed with a three-over 74 on the North Course at Crestview Country Club to share fourth place at 13-under-par 271.

"I couldn't really get things going today," said Vegas. "Hitting it out of bounds on the first hole was tough. It's never a good feeling when something like that happens."

Collins holed a birdie effort on the seventh and remained at least a co-leader until Tidland's closing eagle.

Tidland posted birdies on the third and fifth. They helped him make the turn in 12-under. On the back nine, he birdied the 11th and joined Collins in the lead with a birdie on the par-five 14th.

Collins, who bogeyed the fifth before his birdie on seven, parred 10 straight holes from the eighth. He managed to birdie the last to share second.

Tidland parred three straight from the 15th once he grabbed a piece of the lead. At the par-five 18th, Tidland made eagle from 20 feet out to jump to the top of the leaderboard at minus-16.

"I asked my caddie after I hit my second shot there [at 18]," said Tidland of wanting to know where he stood in the tournament.

"I did the same thing in Boise last year when I won. I figured I'd better find out if I needed to make that putt or it didn't matter. I'm not a scoreboard watcher, my game keeps me busy enough that I don't need any other distractions."

Among the final four players on the course behind Tidland, only Schultz and Collins could have forced a playoff. Both needed to make eagle at the last, but both men made birdie to share second.

"It was kind of a let-down," Collins admitted. "But for him to make that 20- footer with the tournament on the line is impressive and he deserved to win."

Vegas was joined in fourth place at minus-13 by Steven Taylor (64). Paul Claxton closed with a five-under 66 to end alone in sixth at 12-under-par 272. Chris Baryla (64) and Blake Adams (71) were one stroke back at minus-11.

08/09 22:25:35 ET


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