Baryla wins first Nationwide event

Updated: October 11, 2009, 8:10 PM ET
Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Canadian Chris Baryla won the Chattanooga Classic for his first Nationwide Tour victory, beating Troy Kelly by a stroke to move into position to earn a 2010 PGA Tour card as a top-25 finisher on the money list.

The 26-year-old Baryla, from Vernon, British Columbia, finished with a 2-under 70 for a 19-under 269 total on the Black Creek Club. He earned $90,000 to jump from 57th to 20th with $184,055 on the money list with two events remaining in the season.

"I bogeyed the first two and wasn't feeling too good about things," Baryla said. "They were shaky bogeys. I hit good shots, but I three-putted the first and had an easy up-and-down on the second that I didn't convert. My caddie, Brian Sullivan, did a great job of keeping me in the moment and focused on what I needed to do.

"That's the good thing about starting with a two-stroke lead. Even if you stumble a bit you're still going to be right there. I played fantastic for the rest of the way, other than No. 12 where I made a double bogey. But I kept it together after that and made three in a row coming in."

After sitting out nearly a year because of a back injury, Baryla returned to the tour in May. The former University of Texas-El Paso player has missed only one cut in 12 starts and has four top-10 finishes.

Kelly finished with a 65. Cameron Percy (65), Vance Veazey (65) and David Branshaw (67) tied for third at 17 under.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press