Tue, Oct 16, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Swedish rookie Jonas Blixt claims maiden US PGA title

AFP, SAN JOSE, California

Jonas Blixt of Sweden celebrates with family and friends on Sunday after winning the Frys.com Open at the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California.

Photo: AFP

Swedish rookie Jonas Blixt earned his first US PGA victory after rolling in a four-foot par putt on 18 to capture the US$5 million Frys.com Open by one stroke on Sunday.

Blixt closed with a three-under par 68, collecting US$900,000 in prize money and becoming the third rookie to win on the US tour this season.

“It’s unbelievable. I have no words right now. This is the biggest dream I ever had,” Blixt said. “It’s really the greatest two weeks I’ve had on tour.”

Blixt broke through on Sunday after coming close this season with three top-10 finishes.

The native of Nassjo, Smaland, carded his fourth round in the 60s to finish with a 16-under 268 total on the CordeValle golf course.

Americans Tim Petrovic and Jason Kokrak tied for second. Petrovic shot a 64 and Kokrak had a 68.

Third-round leader John Mallinger had a 72 to tie for fourth at 14-under 270 with US compatriot Jimmy Walker, Fiji’s Vijay Singh and Alexandre Rocha of Brazil. Walker closed with a 62 and Singh and Rocha shot 68.

Blixt ranks third on the tour in strokes gained putting and managed to recover from a poor approach shot on 18 on Sunday by two-putting for the victory.

Blixt, who needed a par to win, hit his approach 38 feet from the hole. His next putt stopped four feet from the cup. His two playing partners finished first, then Blixt rolled in the winning putt.

“On the back nine, I was just trying to hit as many greens as possible and not get too cute, and it paid off,” Blixt said.

“I just went through my normal routine [on 18]. I had two shots at it,” he said. “Even if I missed it, you’ve still got a playoff. That’s what I told myself before the putt, then over the putt I just tried to do my normal routine. And it worked.”

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