Bettencourt wins Tour Championship, season money title with final-round 69

Updated: November 9, 2008, 7:38 PM ET
Associated Press

McKINNEY, Texas -- Matt Bettencourt began his week at the Nationwide Tour Championship with kidney stones and a trip to the hospital. He ended it Sunday with a victory and the season money title.

"It means everything to me," Bettencourt said after birdieing the final hole for a 2-under 69 and a 17-under 267 total. "It's truly a dream come true. Don't give up. Don't quit on your dreams."

Bettencourt, also the Oregon Classic winner, made $180,000 to win the money title with $447,863. He earned full exempt PGA Tour status, the equivalent of finishing in the top 125 on the top circuit's money list, and got spots in The Players Championship and Colonial. Brendon de Jonge was second with $437,035.

Jeff Klauk shot a 65 to finish second. He finished third on the money list with $407,418 to earn one of the 25 PGA Tour cards.

Bryce Molder (71) tied for third with 2007 U.S. Amateur champion Colt Knost (65) at 15 under to finish 23rd on the money list. Molder began the week 32nd.

"This is what we work for. I gave myself a chance on the back nine Saturday and took advantage of it today," he said.

Molder started the day tied for the lead, birdied Nos. 8 and 10, then survived a double bogey on No. 16 with pars and 17 and 18.

"My hands were still shaking on the final putt."

Ricky Barnes, the 2002 U.S. Amateur winner, took the 25th and final PGA Tour spot, shooting a 71 to tie for 37th at 3 under. He edged No. 26 David Branshaw by just over $3,500, after Barnes missed getting his card in 2006 by less than $1,000.

"In 2006, I was the odd man out. I guess now I'm the odd man in," Barnes said. "The breaks finally went my way."

Knost, a former SMU star, said getting his tour card was a relief after turning down a chance to play in the 2008 Masters as an amateur by turning professional.

"The first four months of the year I was second-guessed by everybody and I didn't think it was fair," Knost said. "I proved I did the right thing for me. I don't know what else I can do."

Branshaw shot a 68 to tie for 11th at 10 under.

"I had every chance in the world, but I just didn't make enough putts coming down the stretch," he said.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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