Dickerson bests Vranesh on first hole
"It's been a long time coming," said Dickerson, the 2001 U.S. Amateur champion. "It keeps building. Every day. Every week. It gets tougher to win. We all know it. There are so many good players out here. I always felt like if I could keep putting myself in position to win, I'd eventually get there."
Dickerson closed with a 1-under 70 to match Vranesh (66) at 10-under 274 on the Le Triomphe Country Club course. Dickerson earned $99,000, and Vranesh made $59,400.
Dickerson's father, Robert, caddied for him.
"It seemed like I just couldn't get anything going," Dickerson said. "It all turned on No. 12. That was the biggest turning point. I decided right there that we were either going to get into the tournament or we weren't. My dad was the one who kept my pedal down on my driver. When I wanted to go with something else, he said 'No, no, no. Here's your best club' and he handed me my driver."
The former Florida star belted driver and 5-wood to 4 feet on the par-5 12th and holed the putt for an eagle, vaulting him back into contention. Dickerson then stuffed a wedge to 8 feet on No. 17 and made the birdie putt to tie for the lead.
Dickerson two-putted the final hole from 30 feet for par to set up the playoff.
"For some reason I'm more confident when I get in that match-play situation," said Dickerson, who also won the 2001 Western Amateur in match play and finished second in the 2000 U.S. Public Links in match play.
In the playoff on 18, Dickerson's 7-iron on the 441-yard hole stopped 14 feet behind the hole. Vranesh followed and got within 12 feet for birdie.
"I felt like whoever could put the ball in the hole first was going to win," Dickerson said. "I was happy I got to go first. You always want to go first when it's sudden death."
Vranesh's attempt to tie slid past the cup.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press