Kevin Streelman got his breakthrough title on golf’s U.S. PGA Tour with a two-shot win over Boo Weekley at the Tampa Bay Championship.
Streelman, 34, shot 4-under-par 67 in yesterday’s final round at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida, to finish with a four-round total of 10-under-par 274. Weekley closed with an 8-under-par 63, the lowest score of the tournament.
Streelman started his professional golf career after graduating from Duke University in 2001 and said he logged more than 300,000 miles and burned out three cars playing various tours across the U.S. before earning his PGA Tour card in 2008.
“It wasn’t too long ago I was in a car driving myself around dead broke,” Streelman said in a televised interview before collecting the $990,000 winner’s check in his 153rd PGA Tour start. “It just shows you -- determination, hard work and keep chasing your dreams and you never know what will happen.”
Streelman hit rounds of 69, 65 and 67 to recover from an opening-round 73, the highest first-round score by a winner in a PGA Tour event since 2010 when Bill Lunde also shot a 73 at the Turning Stone Championship.
U.S. players have now won the first 12 events of the PGA Tour season, the longest streak since 1989, when Americans won the first 13 tournaments.
The tour remains in Florida for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando from March 21-24. Tiger Woods, the second-ranked player in the Official Golf World Ranking, is scheduled to defend the title he won for a seventh time last year.
Woods’s victory at Bay Hill in 2012 ended a winless streak on the PGA Tour that stretched back to September 2009. The event is the last on the PGA Tour schedule that Woods will play before the Masters Tournament, which starts April 11.
Woods won the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship March 10 to become the only two-time champion on tour this year. It’s the first time he’s won two PGA Tour events prior to the Masters since the 2008 season, when he claimed the last of his 14 major championships at the U.S. Open.
Woods is also scheduled to play in the Tavistock Cup, an exhibition event, on March 25 and 26.