Hearn returning to the PGA Tour

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:12 PM ET

Brantford's David Hearn is going back to the PGA Tour.

The 31-year-old from the Brantford Golf and Country Club shot one-under-par 71 Sunday to finish in fourth place at 8-under 280 in the 72-hole $1 million Nationwide Tour Championship in Charleston, S.C.

Hearn won $48,000 to push his Nationwide earnings for 2010 to $230,400 which is good enough for 21st place on the Nationwide Tour's money list for the year.

The top 25 on the money list receive exemptions to the 2011 PGA Tour.

American Brendan Steele defeated fellow American Colt Knost in a playoff on the Ralston Course at the Daniel Island Club to win the $180,000 first prize. Knost settled for the $108,000 second prize. They tied at 13-under 275.

Joe Affrunti, also an American, edged Hearn for third at nine-under 279.

Americans Hunter Haas and Brian Smock tied for fifth at 7-under 271.

Hearn played the PGA Tour in 2005 after earning his tour card at the PGA's qualifying school.

Hearn made a long birdie putt on the 17th hole to get to 8-under par. He then made a "10-to-12 footer" for par on the par-five 18th hole.

"I realized there's no easy way to get your card, that's what I realized today," Hearn said.

Hearn, who also shot 71 in Saturday's third round after recording consecutive 69's on Thursday and Friday, started his final round with a birdie on the par-four first hole.

However, he posted bogeys on the par-five third and par-three fourth before bouncing back with a birdie on the par-four fifth.

Hearn also managed a birdie on the difficult 240-yard, par-three ninth to go out in one-under 35 but bogey on the par-four 10th hole got him back to even-par for the round. He stayed at even par until he drained the long putt on the 17th.

"I felt great out there," Hearn said. "It felt a lot like Q-school, really. I knew what I had to do. I got off to a nice start, made a few mistakes but I stuck with the game plan and played very well."

Hearn is still entertaining thoughts of playing in the PGA's qualifying school in an effort to improve his status on the tour.

"It's going to take a few days for me to figure everything out like what's next," he said. "Q-school, I think I will [attend] but right now I don't know. If I went to Q-school and did well, I might get into a couple of extra events to start the year."

Hearn credits his hard work with coach Ralph Bauer of Turkey Point for the drastic change in his game from last year to this year.

"We overhauled the way I practised," Hearn said. "My attitude towards practice and play changed and we did it in such a way, it's going to be successful in the long run."


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