Teater's 3-under 68 leads to victory

Updated: September 13, 2009, 10:23 PM ET
Associated Press

SANDY, Utah -- Josh Teater shot a final-round 3-under 68 to finish at 20 under and win the Utah Championship on Sunday for his first victory as a professional.

Tyler Aldridge was second after shooting a 66. Andrew Buckle (68), Matt Jones (68), Steve Wheatcroft (69) and John Kimbell (72) were tied another shot back.

Teater moved to eighth place on the Nationwide earnings list. He is certain to finish in the top 25 and earn a PGA Tour card for 2010 after the Nationwide Championship next month.

"It's a great feeling," Teater said. "But you have to keep playing well to finish as high as possible in 'The 25' to get in as many tournaments as possible next year, so I'm going to keep my foot down and try to keep making birdies."

Teater, a 30-year-old from Lexington, Ky., is playing his rookie season on the Nationwide Tour. The former Morehead State standout turned professional in 2002, but has played primarily on the mini-tour circuit. Teater made the cut for the 13th time in 21 events; he previously had just two top-10 finishes.

After leading by one stroke following the third round, Teater quickly built on his advantage on Sunday. He had an eagle, a par and a birdie on the first three holes to extend his lead to four shots. However he then had bogeys on Nos. 6, 8 and 9.

"The weather played a factor on the front nine," Teater said. "The wind was blowing a bit, which we hadn't seen all week. I might have been a little greedy with my tee shot on eight that ended in the water. But I took my medicine and made a good bogey there."

Aldridge, playing five groups ahead of Teater, birdied three in a row to take a share of the lead at 17 under. Just as he did in the third round, Teater got back on track with birdies on Nos. 10, 12 and 13 to get back to 20 under.

"When I got to the back nine my thought was to give myself a chance at nine birdies and I did a pretty good job at that," he said.

Teater then had par on the next three holes before getting an eagle on the par-5 17th hole.

Aldridge faltered with bogeys on his final two holes, giving Teater a six-stroke lead heading into No. 18. After his tee shot landed in the water, Teater finished up with a double-bogey to earn his first pro win.

Teater became the fourth rookie to win a Nationwide Tour event this year, joining Alistair Presnell, Derek Lamely and Troy Merritt.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press