Bolli wins Tour Championship, secures PGA card

Justin Bolli, who entered the Tour Championship at No. 44 on the money list, fired a 6-under 65 on Sunday to win the season-ending event and secure a 2013 PGA Tour card.

Bolli, who began the final round two strokes off the pace, finished at 16- under 268 and jumped to No. 9 on the money list with the victory.

"I can't say I expected it but it was just one of those days where everything went my way," Bolli said in a television interview. "I was in the zone."

The significance of Bolli's performance was heightened by the fact that only the top 25 players on the money list at the event's conclusion earned their PGA Tour cards for next season.

Overnight co-leader James Hahn, who had already secured his card, shot 69 to finish alone in second place at 14-under, while Adam Hadwin (65) and Morgan Hoffmann (64) tied for third at 13-under.

The third-place tie was enough to vault Hoffmann from 31st into the top 25, but the same could not be said for Hadwin, who entered the tournament at 48th and finished on the outside looking in at 30th.

The other overnight co-leader, Justin Hicks, shot 71 on his birthday to place fifth at 12-under. The 38-year-old had already locked up his tour card.

Russell Henley and Cliff Kresge both carded a 68 to finish tied for sixth at minus-11. The former, who had won two of his last three tournaments coming in, maintained his No. 3 position on the earnings list, while the latter jumped from 38th to 31st and failed to earn a card.

Casey Wittenberg held onto the top money-list spot with a final-round 70 -- good for a ninth-place tie at 8-under.

Doug LaBelle II joined Bolli and Hoffman as the only golfers to play their way into the top 25. Starting the weekend on the bubble at No. 26, LaBelle II battled his way to No. 24 and a tour berth with a 13th-place tie at 7-under.

Conversely, Hudson Swafford, Joseph Bramlett and Camilo Benedetti dropped out of the top 25.

Swafford, who shot even par for the tournament, fell from 23rd to 27th, while Bramlett moved from 24 to 28 and Benedetti agonizingly went from 25 to 26.

Bolli recorded four birdies on his front nine to jump into contention, and later went on top with a birdie on the par-4 11th. He followed with a birdie on No. 12 to go 2-up on Hicks, who then triple-bogeyed the 14th to fall off the pace.

Bolli bogeyed No. 16, but bounced back with a par on No. 17 and a birdie on the last to wrap up his first Tour win of the season.

"I knew I had to make a move," Bolli continued. "It wasn't one of those days where I could shoot one or 2-under and win. I had to get something going early and fortunately I didn't try too hard, I just tried to play my game."

The top 25:

1. Casey Wittenberg

2. Luke Guthrie

3. Russell Henley

4. Luke List

5. James Hahn

6. Shawn Stefani

7. Robert Streb

8. Ben Kohles

9. Justin Bolli

10. David Lingmerth

11. Justin Hicks

12. Paul Haley II

13. Cameron Percy

14. Andres Gonzales

15. Scott Gardiner

16. Lee Williams

17. Darron Stiles

18. Brad Fritsch

19. Morgan Hoffmann

20. Brian Stuard

21. Andrew Svoboda

22. Nicholas Thompson

23. Alistair Presnell

24. Doug LaBelle II

25. Jim Herman

NOTES: Bolli has graduated from the Tour four times...The Tour Championship offered the largest purse of the season at $1 million. First place for the tournament earned $180,000, second place took home $108,000 and third place won $68,000.