Breaking Tampa Bay, Florida and national news and weather from Tampa Bay Online and The Tampa Tribune | TBO.com
Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
Golf

Kirk gets first PGA Tour win

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 02:23 PM
MADISON, Miss. -

After a tap-in putt for a one-stroke victory at the Viking Classic, Chris Kirk picked up his ball, gave a nearly indiscernible fist pump and strode off the course like a man who's done it a hundred times.

Not exactly what you'd expect from a first-time PGA Tour winner.

"I gave a little bit of a fist pump, I think, didn't I?" Kirk said grinning. "I don't know. I made a three-inch putt to win. That's not exactly an accomplishment. All the other shots I hit were pretty good, though."

Kirk, a 26-year-old rookie, shot a 4-under 68 to beat Tom Pernice Jr. and George McNeill by one stroke at Annandale Golf Club. It ended an impressive week for the Georgia graduate, who tied the tournament record with a 22-under total over four rounds.

Kirk had a one-stroke lead going into the final round and rarely flinched. He never trailed, breaking a tie with McNeill on No. 17 by hitting a 140-yard approach over water to within five feet of the hole for an easy birdie putt.

The bold shot looked risky. But Kirk calmly surveyed his options and said he never thought twice.

"People sometimes make more of it than what it is," Kirk said. "It was 140 yards and it was a 9-iron, so I was aiming right at the pin and nowhere else. That was my only thought."

Kirk played his first PGA Tour event at the Viking Classic in 2007. But he missed the cut, and on Sunday marveled at how much things have changed in four years.

"It's pretty amazing to think back to then, how far I've come from," Kirk said.

Comments