Brett Drewiit has claimed his maiden Korn Ferry Tour title with a one-stroke victory over the weekend.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – For Americans, Father’s Day annually falls on the third Sunday of June, but for Australians, the holiday is celebrated on the first Sunday of September. Australian Brett Drewitt celebrated his own Father’s Day with his first victory in his 116th career start on Sunday at the Lincoln Land Championship presented by LRS.
“I was talking to my parents last night and I was kind of thinking about how cool it would be to win on Father’s Day,” said Drewitt, a father to his 18-month-old Brady. “I didn’t say anything to my parents because lately my words have been coming back to bite me, but it’s a surreal feeling.”
At 19-under 265, Drewitt, a former PGA TOUR Series-China player who first moved to the Korn Ferry Tour in 2015 after a stellar 2014 in China, edged a trio of players by one stroke. In the end, he carded five birdies and two bogeys on Sunday for a closing 3-under 68, but perhaps more importantly, he parred his final two holes. The par-3 17th (215 yards) and the par-4 18th (451 yards) played as the two toughest holes on the course on Sunday.
Playing in the penultimate group, Drewitt had to wait to see if rookie Austen Truslow would make birdie to force a playoff. Nervously hitting shots on the driving range, Drewitt knew it was over when fellow Korn Ferry Tour pro Tag Ridings came running towards him to shower him in beer.
“I look over and saw Tag giving me the fist-pump from by the 18th green, and then they started running over towards me and Cam, my caddie, said, ‘Man you did it,’” laughed Drewitt. “At that point I was just bracing myself for the beer to get sprayed all over me.”
The win celebrates a high point in what had previously been a disappointing season for the 29-year-old. He is one of six players who have played in all 19 events thus far but entering the week he had made just six cuts. Including this tournament, he had competed in 13 consecutive weeks.
“It’s surreal right now; it’s been a hard road over the last couple of years,” said Drewitt, who entered the week 73rd in the points standings. “This year has been a rollercoaster. When I got to the PGA TOUR, I led in ball-striking out here [in 2016]. I just trusted that I still had it, even if it might not show in my stats. And then the putts started dropping and that’s just the way it goes.”
Drewitt’s win came at the expense of rookies Austen Truslow and Harry Hall, along with Ben Kohles, who finished one shot back. Truslow and Kohles each had long birdie attempts to tie at the final hole, while Hall needed to get up and down for par to remain at 19-under. Hall, an Englishman competing in his fifth event, missed a downhill three-footer for par to slip one stroke off the lead. Still, the runner-up finishes were the best in the young careers of Truslow and Hall.
With the win, Drewitt moves from 73rd to 18th in the Korn Ferry Tour points standings.