Michael Welch (Jupiter, FL) fired a five-under par 67 in the final round of the Pearl River Resort Classic over the 7128 yard, par 72 Azaleas Course at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club to garner his first career Hooters Tour title.
"Coming into today I was two back of (Rattan) and I felt like if I shot a 66 I could give myself a chance to win. When I got to six-under I felt a little nervous," said the twenty-five year old. "I had to make a fifteen foot bogey putt on sixteen and it helped with the nerves and I made two pars for the win."
Welch, a graduate of Johnson and Wales in Miami, fired rounds of 72-64-68-67 for a four day total of seventeen-under par 271 and a one stroke victory over Hank Kim (Jonesboro, GA). Kim closed with a four-under par 68 to finish all alone in second place at sixteen-under par 272.
"I played okay the first day but made two bogies over my last two holes to finish at even par but on day two I only missed one green and I really had the putter going."
David Miller (Daphne, AL) finished all alone in third place at fifteen-under par 273 after closing with a four-under par 68.
Casey Crain (Carriere), the only golfer from Mississippi left in the field, carded a four day total twelve-under par 276 and finished tied for ninth.
Welch takes home a Hooters Tour best $33,566 for his first career win, while Kim takes home a season best $16,783 for his runner-up finish.
"It feels really great to finally get this first win, I have had three seconds in my career and this check for $33,000 will really help," said Welch.
The tour heads to Perdido, Florida next week for the Flora-Bama Lounge Classic presented by Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce.