(BOISE, ID – September, 21, 2009) – There was both good news and bad news for Massachusetts native Fran Quinn as he approached the final green of the 20th Albertsons Boise Open. He and playing partner Blake Adams had been in a duel for much of Sunday’s final round, and they walked up the hill tied for the lead at 13 under.
The good news for Quinn was that his 8-iron from 169 yards had stopped four feet from the cup and gave him a legitimate shot to win the tournament. On the way though, somebody from the crowd yelled to the 44-year-old New Englander, “Nice birdie, but the Patriots lost!”
A shot at winning a tournament for the first time in more than nine years versus a loss to the New York Jets. It was a trade that Quinn didn’t mind making.
“It was one of those shots that comes off the club and you know it’s good,” said Quinn, who turned pro in 1988. “That shot is probably the best shot I’ve ever hit in my life. I had to hit that shot at that time. All the chips were on the table.”
Quinn and Adams dueled for much of the windswept final day at Hillcrest Country Club before Quinn rolled in the winner to cap off a 2-under 69 and finish at 14-under 270, one better than Adams, who had been 14 under after 36 holes but could do no better than weekend scores of 71-72 to win up second for the second time this year.
“I just made too many mistakes,” said Adams, who was in search of his first career win.
Quinn stalked the lead all day but never moved in front until the final putt.
“It was unbelievable. It was quite a day,” said Quinn, who earned his third career title but the first since the 2000 Florida Classic, a span of 236 starts. “It’s a big monkey off my back. I’ve had a few opportunities and kicked a bunch away. It was really rewarding to come out here and get the job done.”
Quinn got it done by playing steady when most of the final pairs were struggling. He was the only player in the final six groups to break par. The day’s best rounds belonged to Kevin Chappell (67), who was in the first group off the tee and Australian Ewan Porter, who posted a 6-under 65 to finish at 11 under more than three hours in front of the leaders. Porter wound up tied for third with B.J. Staten, three behind.
Adams managed one birdie and eight pars on the front nine but still held a two-shot advantage when he and Quinn reached the 10th tee. Roger Tambellini, the 2003 champion, was lurking and would eventually tie for the lead after a birdie at No. 11.
“I know Sunday on the back nine the greens are really firm, and with the wind blowing it was going to be difficult,” said Quinn, who had never finished better than tied for 20th in his previous 11 starts in the event. “The wind played havoc. It was going to be tough to shoot a few under on the back nine.”
Adams stumbled again, just as he had Saturday. The 34-year old Georgian made bogeys at 10, 11, 14 and 15. Tambellini gave five shots back starting at No. 12 and would eventually tie for fifth, four back.
Quinn was even for the day but hadn’t made a birdie since the par-5 third hole.
Adams’ final bogey of the day left the final pair tied for the lead with three holes to go. It was essentially match play from there.
“I didn’t look at a board until 15,” said Quinn, “I knew that we were two shots clear.”
Both players had two-putt birdies at the par-5 16th and two-putt pars at the short par-3 17th. The stage was set for some final drama.
“You think you have doubts if you can do it,” admitted Quinn. “Deep down in my heart I knew I could still win but it was a question of whether I would let myself win.”
• Fran Quinn’s last win came in the 2000 Florida Classic, the first event on the schedule that year. The time elapsed between his wins — 9 years, 6 months and 14 days — is the fifth longest gap in Nationwide Tour history.
• Blake Adams held the outright lead after each of the first three rounds and was trying to become the first wire-to-wire winner on Tour since Colt Knost led from start to finish at the 2008 Price Cutter Charity Championship. There has never been a wire-to-wire winner in the 20 years of the Albertsons Boise Open.
• Quinn’s winning check for $130,500 pushed his career earnings on Tour to $1,053,520. He is the 13th player to top the $1 million mark in Tour history.
• Ewan Porter’s 6-under 65 was the best round of the day by two strokes. Porter began the day tied for 42nd and moved all the way up to tie for third. Porter started his final round 3:15 before the final twosome of Blake Adams and Fran Quinn. He birdied the final three holes Sunday. Porter had made the cut in only one of six starts this year, with a tie for 71st at the Moonah Classic, his only prior weekend finish. Porter was No. 285 on the money list with $1,168; he earned $42,050 this week and moved up to No. 100.
• Troy Kelly had made only one cut in five starts prior to this week. Kelly posted four rounds in the 60s and finished at 10 under and tied for fifth, his first career top-10 finish. His previous best was a tie for 23rd at last week’s Utah Championship.
• Jeff Gove (70-266) collected his 10th top-25 finish this week. Gove ended the week tied for 14th and earned enough money to push his season total over the $200,000 mark. He moved up three spots on the money list to No. 13.
• Tom Gillis is now 11-for-11 in cuts this year. Gillis finished tied for ninth this week, his sixth top-10 and ninth top-25 of the season. Gillis is No. 4 on the money list.
• B.J. Staten had a season-best tie-for-third finish this week. It’s Staten’s best effort since a career-best second-place finish at the 2007 LaSalle Bank Open.
• Andrew Buckle (-9) tied for ninth place this week. His check for $18,125 moved him from No. 30 to No. 24 on the money list.
• After playing below par each of the first three days, the par-71 Hillcrest Country Club had a scoring average of 72.581.
• Albertsons Boise Open tournament officials announced that charity donations this year will total $1.3 million, bringing the tournament’s 20-year total to $10.6 million.
By Joe Chemycz, PGA TOUR Staff – Courtesy PGATOUR.com
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