Bettencourt wins Reno-Tahoe Open by stroke | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Bettencourt wins Reno-Tahoe Open by stroke

Scott Sonner, The Associated Press

RENO – Matt Bettencourt will play in the PGA Championship for the first time thanks to an excellent eagle, pristine putting and a caddie who kept him calm.

That he shot 1-over on the back nine just made it dramatic when Bob Heintz missed a three-foot putt on No. 18 that would have forced a playoff in the Reno-Tahoe Open.

Instead, Bettencourt won for the first time on tour, shooting a 4-under 68 on Sunday that earned him a $540,000 check and an invite to Whistling Straits next month.

“I made some great up and downs,” Bettencourt said. “I feel like I’m as good of a bunker player as anybody in the world.”

After Bettencourt’s eagle on the par-5 11th, he closed with a birdie and two bogeys, including on No. 18. He also bogeyed the par-4 14th at Montreux Golf & Country Club.

The best putter at Reno all week, Bettencourt had 12 one-putts and only 24 total on Sunday. Bettencourt said a lot of the credit for keeping him calm down the stretch went to Matthew Achatz, his caddie on loan from Rocco Mediate while Mediate was working as a TV analyst at the British Open.

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“Thank you, Rocco, for letting me use him,” Bettencourt said. “He made me believe in myself.”

Heintz, who shot a 69 Sunday, started the week trying to qualify for a Nationwide Tour event in Ohio before he was notified he’d qualified for Reno and hopped plane to Nevada on Tuesday.

“You hate to see somebody miss one like that at the end but at the same time I played well enough all week to win and didn’t feel like I was really getting the bounces I needed until today,” Bettencourt said. “I’m just so excited, I’ll take it any way you can.”

Heintz, a 40-year-old graduate of Yale with a degree in economics, was pleased to come away with $324,000 for finishing second.

“I think it’s my biggest check ever,” Heintz said. “I kind of played like the Bob of old where my survival instincts kicked in and my short game was just shy of brilliant all day. I holed out three times from off the green.”

John Merrick and Mathias Gronberg each shot 69 and tied for third at 9-under.

Robert Gamez (68), Kent Jones (68), Alex Cejka (69), Kevin Stadler (70) and Craig Barlow (72) all finished another stroke back at 8-under.

Bettencourt won the money title on the Nationwide Tour in 2008 and tied for 10th at the U.S. Open last year. He finished 111th on the PGA money list with $740,037 that year.

Bettencourt had a three-stroke lead with five holes to play Sunday but failed to get up and down out of a greenside bunker on the 491-yard 14th.

He drove into the rough left on the 477-yard par-4 15th and had to hook his approach around a tree 165 yards to just right of the green.

He chipped up to 6 feet and made the par putt and scrambled his way to another par on the par-3 16th when he missed the green off the tee, but chipped up to 8 feet.

On the 636-yard, par-5 17th, Bettencourt hit his second shot into a greenside bunker but blasted out to 5 feet and rolled in the birdie to get to 12-under, two strokes ahead of Heintz, who made an 8-foot birdie putt on the 17th to set up the drama on the final hole.

Earlier, Bettencourt chipped in from 10 feet away in the rough at the par-5 ninth for his third birdie of the day to make the turn with a one-stroke lead over Heintz.

On the 584-yard 11th, he hit his second shot 276 yards onto the edge of the green and made a 7-footer for eagle.

Scott McCarron, a former Reno resident and Montreux member who served as the tournament host, started the day at 10-under with a one-stroke lead over John Mallinger and Robert Garrigus. But he fell to a tie for 35th at 1 under with five bogeys and two double bogeys on the way to an 81.

Mallinger had a quadruple-bogey 9 on the 616-yard 9th – dropping twice from unplayable lies after driving wide left into the trees and sage brush – en route to a 77 and a tie for 21st.

PGA PGA Reno-Tahoe Open Scores

Sunday’s Final Round

At Montreux Golf and Country Club

Reno

Purse: $3 million

Yardage: 7,472; Par: 72

FedExCup points in parentheses

Matt Bettencourt (250), $540,000 66-68-75-68 – 277

Bob Heintz (0), $324,000 69-68-72-69 – 278

John Merrick (83), $174,000 69-68-73-69 – 279

Mathias Gronberg (83), $174,000 69-72-69-69 – 279

Robert Gamez (47), $101,700 76-68-68-68 – 280

Kent Jones (47), $101,700 73-72-67-68 – 280

Alex Cejka (47), $101,700 71-72-68-69 – 280

Kevin Stadler (47), $101,700 70-67-73-70 – 280

Craig Barlow (47), $101,700 69-72-67-72 – 280

Martin Flores (33), $69,000 74-70-68-69 – 281

Paul Stankowski (33), $69,000 71-70-70-70 – 281

Chris DiMarco (33), $69,000 67-71-72-71 – 281

Bill Lunde (33), $69,000 69-68-73-71 – 281

Robert Garrigus (33), $69,000 69-65-73-74 – 281

Kirk Triplett (28), $51,000 76-68-70-68 – 282

Mark Hensby (28), $51,000 69-73-69-71 – 282

Chad Campbell (28), $51,000 69-69-71-73 – 282

Will MacKenzie (26), $42,000 68-72-71-72 – 283

Steve Allan (0), $42,000 69-74-68-72 – 283

Stuart Appleby (26), $42,000 73-69-68-73 – 283

Todd Fischer (0), $31,200 69-70-75-70 – 284

Mark Wilson (24), $31,200 74-71-70-69 – 284

Steve Elkington (24), $31,200 69-73-70-72 – 284

Rod Pampling (24), $31,200 72-69-67-76 – 284

John Mallinger (24), $31,200 69-67-71-77 – 284

Len Mattiace (22), $22,200 78-65-71-71 – 285

Ben Fox (0), $22,200 73-71-69-72 – 285

J.J. Henry (22), $22,200 69-72-72-72 – 285

Tom Gillis (22), $22,200 73-72-73-67 – 285

Jonathan Kaye (22), $22,200 71-69-70-75 – 285

Steve Flesch (19), $18,188 74-71-69-72 – 286

Jeff Quinney (19), $18,188 72-69-70-75 – 286

Kevin Streelman (19), $18,188 69-72-76-69 – 286

Graham DeLaet (19), $18,188 70-76-62-78 – 286

Vaughn Taylor (17), $15,113 74-72-70-71 – 287

Aron Price (17), $15,113 70-71-71-75 – 287

Guy Boros (17), $15,113 72-73-75-67 – 287

Scott McCarron (17), $15,113 70-69-67-81 – 287

Woody Austin (14), $10,812 69-72-73-75 – 289

David Lutterus (14), $10,812 70-75-70-74 – 289

Seung-su Han (0), $10,812 72-71-72-74 – 289

Rich Barcelo (14), $10,812 71-69-75-74 – 289

Johnson Wagner (14), $10,812 75-72-69-73 – 289

Steve Wheatcroft (14), $10,812 74-67-71-77 – 289

Jim Carter (14), $10,812 69-76-71-73 – 289

Jarrod Lyle (14), $10,812 69-72-75-73 – 289

Garth Mulroy (14), $10,812 71-74-72-72 – 289

Kris Blanks (14), $10,812 71-72-76-70 – 289

James Nitties (11), $7,800 72-74-70-74 – 290

Greg Kraft (10), $7,305 72-71-71-77 – 291

Matt Hill (0), $7,305 70-75-71-75 – 291

John Rollins (10), $7,305 71-72-73-75 – 291

Henrik Bjornstad (10), $7,305 72-73-74-72 – 291

Josh Teater (9), $6,960 74-72-72-74 – 292

Craig Bowden (7), $6,810 68-72-75-78 – 293

Jeev Milkha Singh (7), $6,810 72-69-75-77 – 293

Mark Brooks (7), $6,810 74-70-74-75 – 293

Nicholas Thompson (7), $6,810 72-75-72-74 – 293

Omar Uresti (5), $6,540 70-75-72-77 – 294

Ted Purdy (5), $6,540 73-74-71-76 – 294

Brent Delahoussaye (5), $6,540 77-69-72-76 – 294

Willie Wood (5), $6,540 76-70-73-75 – 294

Skip Kendall (5), $6,540 75-70-74-75 – 294

Charles Warren (4), $6,360 70-75-75-75 – 295

Vance Veazey (3), $6,270 75-71-70-81 – 297

Cliff Kresge (3), $6,270 70-70-79-78 – 297

Roger Tambellini (2), $6,150 71-72-78-77 – 298

Robin Freeman (2), $6,150 73-71-78-76 – 298

Dicky Pride (1), $6,030 72-69-76-82 – 299

Mike Small (0), $6,030 73-74-76-76 – 299

Matt Every (0), $5,940 75-68-84-77 – 304