Bae Sang-moon won his second PGA Tour event as he claimed a two-shot victory at the Frys.com Open in California.
The victory in the season opener breaks a long spell of indifferent form for the South Korean who failed to register a single top-10 finish in between his maiden triumph at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship last May and Sunday afternoon.
Bae fired over 70 for the first time in the week in his final round with a one-over par 73 but was able to keep Australia’s Steven Bowditch at bay after coming into the final round with a four-shot lead.
And the 28-year-old admits he was suffering from some final round jitters before eventually sealing victory on a score of 15 under..
“I was very frustrated,” Bae told pgatour.com. “Even though my game was good, the score wasn’t. I was very frustrated and I was very anxious and nervous.”
Bae looked to be cruising as he reached the turn in 35 after two birdies and a bogey but a run of three bogeys in four holes from 11 to 14 – he birdied 12 - saw him come under a little pressure.
Bowditch closed with a 67 to be the nearest challenger to Bae, who becomes just the third South Korean to register more than win on the Tour after K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang.
Bowditch bogeyed the eighth and picked the shot back up on nine as he looked unlikely to make any sort of tilt at the title on the front half.
But birdies on 12 and 14, an eagle on 16 and a closing birdie on the last saw him move into second place, one shot clear of Bryce Molder, Hideki Matsuyama, Retief Goosen, Hunter Mahan and Martin Laird.
A closing 71 meant Scotsman Laird, who was leading the tournament at halfway, finished the week without an over-par round but he was still disappointed not to be able to turn his returning good form into a win.
“Some weeks you feel really good about finishing third and some weeks you kind of are frustrated, thinking that you could have done better,” he said.
“And it was one of those weeks for me. I’m going to take a couple days to get over this one.”
Jarrod Lyle enjoyed a successful return to the Tour following his battle with leukemia as he fired a closing 70 to finish the week on five under.
The Australian had not started a tour event since February 2012 as he fought the illness for the second time and had to come through qualifying to secure his place in the field.
“To come here without a tournament to play, and then get through on the Monday (qualifier) and make the cut and play reasonable golf for four days, I couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said.
“It’s something to build on for the rest of the year.”
Lee Westwood got his PGA Tour season off to a satisfactory start after a disappointing 2013/14, finishing with a 67 to finish on 10 under while American Brooks Koepka, who splits his time with the European Tour, was one shot better off.