Blanks tops Stegmaier in playoff to win Louisiana Open
03/30/2014 8:19 PM
03/30/2014 8:19 PM
Broussard, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kris Blanks birdied the third playoff hole on Sunday to top Brett Stegmaier and capture the title of the Louisiana Open.
Blanks fired the low round of the tournament with a 9-under 62 during the final round at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club to finish at 14-under-par 270, and then had to wait several hours to see if his lead would hold up.
Stegmaier carded a 3-under 68 to end alongside Blanks. He was able to pass Blanks after nine holes, but followed a bogey at the 10th with eight straight pars to end alongside Blanks and force the playoff.
After the duo traded pars on the first two extra holes, Blanks rolled in a 10- foot birdie putt at the third to earn his second career win on the Web.com Tour.
"I kind of knew what the putt was doing and it was just a matter of getting it on line," Blanks said about his winning putt. "I just thought the heck with it, let's try to end this and let everybody go home."
Third-round leader Kyle Reifers managed a 1-under 70 to fall into a tie with Jonathan Randolph (67) for third place at 13-under 271.
Steve Saunders (69), Garth Mulroy (67), Zack Sucher (68), Aaron Goldberg (68), Sebastian Vazquez (69) and Justin Thomas (69) shared fifth at 12-under.
Blanks started his race up the leaderboard with back-to-back birdies at the first and second. He later added three straight gains from the sixth to make the turn at 10-under.
The Georgia native then converted another set of birdies at the 12th and 13th to meet overnight leader Reifers in first place.
Blanks birdied the 16th to claim the outright lead just as Reifers teed off and opened his round with a par at the first. Blanks posted his ninth and final birdie of the day at the 17th to move two clear of the field and parred the last to finish at 14-under.
"I'm done early, but I gave them something to think about," Blanks said after closing out his impressive round.
Reifers, meanwhile, would eventually be joined at 12-under by seven other players before he posted a birdie at the fourth to pull within a shot of the lead.
One of those players at 12-under was Stegmaier, who followed his birdie at the first with a birdie at the fifth to join Reifers at minus-13.
The top of the leaderboard would remain crowded as Vazquez, Randolph, Thomas and Blayne Barber would also reach 13-under at one time before Stegmaier birdied the seventh to earn a share of the lead.
Barber also birdied the seventh to make it a three-way tie at 14-under, but closed his round with bogeys at the ninth, 12th and 13th to fall behind.
Stegmaier then claimed the outright lead at 15-under with his birdie at the eighth, but could not hang on after he bogeyed the 10th to fall back into a tie with Blanks prior to his eight closing pars.
"I probably had six putts that wobbled out there," said Reifers. "I hit a lot of good putts that didn't go in. It just wasn't my day."
Reifers had a chance to join the playoff when he birdied the 17th, but closed with a bogey at the par-4 18th to fall a shot off the pace.
NOTES: Blanks' last tour win came at the 2008 Bank of America Open ... Blanks was seven shots off the pace at the start of the day, which is the largest come-from-behind win on tour since Peter Tomasulo rallied from eight shots down at the 2010 Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic ... This was the first playoff of the season ... Stegmaier's second-place finish is the best of his career.