Knox gets 1st Nationwide Tour win

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 5:19 PM ET

Maineville, OH - Scotland's Russell Knox posted a six-under- par 66 in Sunday's final round to cruise to an easy victory at the Chiquita Classic.

Knox finished at 25-under 263 and won by three strokes at the TPC River's Bend. The victory was the first for the rookie on the Nationwide Tour.

Billy Hurley III fired an eight-under 64 and took second place at minus-22.

Brian Stuard (65) and Greg Owen (67) shared third at 20-under 268.

Knox began the final round with a one-shot lead, but birdies at three and four extended his margin to three. He dropped a shot with a bogey at the fourth, but Knox got hot again after the hiccup.

Knox birdied the sixth to reclaim a three-shot cushion. He rolled in a 12- footer for birdie at the seventh and made it three in a row with a two-putt birdie from off the green at the par-five eighth.

After he nearly made his eagle try at eight, the birdie left Knox at 23-under par and five ahead of his closest pursuer.

Knox birdied the 11th to get to 24-under and once again moved five clear thanks to a six-foot birdie putt at the par-four 15th. His lead got trimmed thanks to some fantastic back-nine play from Hurley.

Hurley started his rally with a birdie at the par-five 11th. He added birdies at 13 and 14, then capped off his round with three consecutive birdies to get in at 22-under par.

Knox's lead was down to three shots with three to play, but consistent golf down the stretch was needed, and that's what he provided.

Knox made a pair of routine pars at 16 and 17, so he had a very comfortable three-shot edge with the par-five 18th to play. He missed the green left with his second, then hit a horrendous chip 45 feet from the flagstick.

He two-putted for par to collect the elusive first victory.

Knox admitted there were some nerves early on Sunday.

"When you get into the thick of things, get your juices flowing as they say, that's what every professional golfer wants," Knox said in a televised interview.

Chris Nallen (63), Josh Broadaway (69) and B.J. Staten (71) shared fifth at minus-19.

Robert Castro shot a four-under 68 and tied for eighth place with Aaron Goldberg, who only managed an even-par 72 on Sunday. The pair finished at 18- under 270.

NOTES: Knox pocketed $99,000 for the win...Not one player who made the cut finished over par and that included Mathias Gronberg, who had an 82 on Sunday...Gronberg tied for 66th at one-under par...The Nationwide Tour remains in the Buckeye State next week for the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational in Columbus, where D.J. Brigman captured the 2010 title.


 


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