Immelman rallies to win first finals event

Trevor Immelman fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday to rally and win the Hotel Fitness Championship.

The former Masters champion finished at 20-under-par 268 for his first Tour victory.

Immelman won the first event of the inaugural Tour Finals. He likely earned enough money to maintain his PGA Tour card for next season, but won't rest on his laurels as players continue to battle for priority ranking position.

"There's no doubt this is huge for me. It's been a long, frustrating road for me. It was so disappointing to lose my card," said Immelman, who ended 143rd on the FedExCup points list. "I'm not going to lie, I've struggled since 2008. I've been wondering if I'd be able to get back to playing the way I know I can play."

Patrick Cantlay, who led by three entering the final round, managed an even- par 72 to take second place at minus-19 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club. He had a 7-foot birdie putt at the last to force a playoff, but it lipped out.

Scott Gardiner (68) and Kevin Kisner (70) shared third place at 18-under 270, while John Peterson (64) and Bud Cauley (69) tied for fifth at minus-17.

Cantlay was in control of the tournament when birdies at the second and fifth pushed him to 21-under par. However, he stumbled to three bogeys in a 4-hole span from the eighth to fall out of the lead.

Immelman, who made eagle at two to go with birdies at five and six, birdied the 12th and 13th to grab the lead at 20-under. He stumbled to a bogey at the par-5 15th after finding a creek with his second shot.

That created a 4-way tie for the lead. Cauley had five birdies in the first 11 holes to move to 19-under. However, he found that same creek on No. 15 and walked off with a double-bogey. He parred the last three to share fifth.

Cantlay stopped his bogey streak with a birdie on the par-5 12th. That put him back at 19-under, where he shared the lead after Immelman's bogey.

Kisner, who was in the final group with Cantlay, converted back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 to make it a 4-way tie for the lead before Cauley fell off the pace. Kisner dipped to minus-18 with a bogey on the par-4 16th. He ended there as he closed with a pair of pars.

Immelman parred 16 and 17 to remain at minus-19. At the last, he poured in a 15-footer for birdie to move one clear of the field.

Cantlay made par on the final six holes as his birdie effort at the last lipped out. That gave Immelman his first tour win, in just his second tour start.

"I had a number of 8-under 64 in my mind. Patrick was playing so well and there was no reason to think he wouldn't continue that today," Immelman said. "I figured I'd have to shoot something like 64 to have a shot today."

NOTES: Immelman earned $180,000 for the victory and he sits alone atop the Finals Series money list, with Cantlay in second at $108,000 ... The top 25 from the Tour money list earned their PGA Tour cards for next year, but are playing for priority ranking ... The next 25 available from the Tour Finals money list will also get their PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season ... Immelman was the 13th first-time winner of the year on the Tour.