Goggin wins by two in Panama



Panama City, Panama (Sports Network) - Australian Mathew Goggin closed with a two-under 68 Sunday to win the Panama Claro Championship by two strokes.

Goggin, who won for the third time on the Nationwide Tour, finished at 11- under-par 269.

"It's been a long time. I've had some opportunities over the years, but it's tough to win," Goggin stated. "It's tough to win anywhere."

Darron Stiles carded a four-under 66 to end tied for second at minus-nine. He was joined there by Alistair Presnell, who stumbled to a three-over 73 in the final round at Club de Golf de Panama.

Third-round leader Erik Compton double-bogeyed the final hole en route to a five-over 75. The two-time heart transplant recipient led by two after three rounds, but ended in a share of fourth at eight-under-par 272.

Compton finished alongside Tommy Biershenk, who posted a two-under 68 in the final round.

Sunday was the only day there wasn't a weather delay. Weather issues the first three days forced the third round to be completed earlier Sunday.

Goggin was four shots back to start the final round. In the first eight holes, he had one birdie on the fifth and seven pars. He stumbled to a bogey on the par-four ninth to make the turn at minus-nine, where he was still three back of his playing partner, Compton.

Compton had eight pars and a bogey on the sixth to turn at 12-under. Presnell, the third member of the final group, trailed by one as he bogeyed the fifth to go with eight pars on the front nine.

Around the turn, Presnell briefly grabbed a piece of the lead with a birdie on 10. However, he bogeyed No. 11 to again fall one back.

The 14th was the turning point. Goggin and Presnell both made birdie, while Compton tripped to a bogey. Presnell was in the lead at 12-under, while Goggin was two back.

Presnell followed that birdie with three straight bogeys from the 15th to slide to minus-nine. Compton also bogeyed No. 15 to dip to 10-under. When Goggin birdied the par-four 16th, he was in the lead at 11-under.

At the last, Presnell needed to hole out for eagle to force a playoff, while Compton had to make birdie to force an extra session.

Neither happened and Goggin closed with a par to seal the title.

Presnell also made par to share second, while Compton faltered to a double- bogey to dip into a tie for fourth.

"I was trying to win the golf tournament on 18. I tried to hit a hard wedge and get it close," said Compton of his approach at the last that spun off the green and cost him a shot at the title.

NOTES: Goggin earned $99,000 for the win...The gap between wins on the Nationwide Tour for Goggin was 11 years, six months and 19 days, the third- longest stretch in tour history...Forty of the 64 players that made the cut had to finish their third rounds earlier Sunday...The Nationwide Tour heads to Colombia next week for the Bogota Open, where Steve Pate won last year.

02/27 20:11:48 ET

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