AIKEN — While most of the golf world focused on Tiger Woods’ 76th PGA Tour victory Sunday, the staff and some members of Palmetto Golf Club were far more interested in a pair of tournaments held outside the United States.
Scott Brown won the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open, while Kevin Kisner took home the trophy at the Web.com’s Chile Classic. Both golfers make Palmetto their home base when they aren’t traveling and playing professionally.
What are the odds of two golfers, based out of the same club, scoring victories on the same day?
“You just can’t put it into words,” Palmetto head pro Brooks Blackburn said. “Hard work and dedication do pay off. I would guess it’s never happened.”
Kisner, an Aiken native who grew up playing at Palmetto, won about an hour before Brown on Sunday. The former Georgia star entered Sunday in a three-way tie in the event in Santiago, Chile, thanks to a course-record 61 in the third round. In the final round, he fired 4-under-par 68 to win by one stroke over Edward Loar and Brice Garnett.
Blackburn, who has known Brown since he was 5 years old, got out of the pro shop and went down to the range as he nervously waited for the final few holes to play out.
Brown, who started the day tied with Fabian Gomez for the lead, made an eagle and birdie in his first five holes to seize the early advantage. But bogeys on Nos. 8, 9 and 11 dropped him behind Gomez and Jordan Spieth.
Coming to the final hole of the Trump International course in Rio Grande, Brown was tied with Spieth and trailing Gomez by one. But Gomez made bogey and Brown made birdie to secure the former USC Aiken star’s biggest victory.
“I thought I would need an eagle as well as he was playing,” said Brown, who grew up in North Augusta and is currently in the process of moving to Aiken. “So I just stayed aggressive.”
Gomez made bogey after putting his second shot on the final hole into a greenside bunker, then blasting it long and into another bunker. He missed a 15-footer for par.
Brown, meanwhile, came up short of the green in two but pitched on and sank his 4-foot birdie putt.
“I was nervous over that last putt,” Brown said. “A kid growing up in Augusta, this is a dream come true.”
The victory doesn’t get Brown into the Masters Tournament – the Puerto Rico event was held opposite the WGC-Cadillac Championship – but it did earn him $630,000.
He also secured a spot in the next PGA Tour event, the Tampa Bay Championship, and also will play in The Players Championship in May and the PGA Championship in August.
The win for Kisner was worth $117,000 and puts him in position to regain his PGA Tour card. The top 25 money winners on the Web.com Tour this year will earn their cards.
Kisner, who previously won the developmental tour’s 2010 Mylan Classic, didn’t see this victory coming. He birdied five of his first 13 holes but then played the final two par-5s in 1-over fashion to make it close.
“I don’t know why I won because I played so bad the last two weeks and missed the cut,” Kisner told reporters. “It wasn’t terrible, but my game wasn’t there and I wasn’t confident. This course just fit my eye really well. I knew when I played my first nine holes in the practice round that I’d have a chance here.”
Tom Moore, Palmetto’s pro emeritus, said he wasn’t surprised to see either win.
“Anytime they get a chance to win, they’re not afraid to win,” he said.
Associated Press reports were used in this article.