Rio Grande, PR (SportsNetwork.com) - Chesson Hadley carded a 5-under 67 on Sunday to earn a 2-stroke victory at the Puerto Rico Open.
Hadley earned his first career win on the PGA Tour at 21-under-par 267. The tour rookie had missed the cut in six of his 10 previous starts this season prior to this event.
"It opens up a lot of doors," Hadley said about his maiden win. "It guarantees me a major. I've never played in a major before."
Danny Lee shot a 4-under 68 during his final round at Trump International Golf Club to finish in second place at 19-under 269, while Ben Martin (66) took third at 17-under.
Wes Roach (67), Richard Lee (67), David Toms (69), Carl Pettersson (69) and Jason Gore (70) shared fourth at 16-under.
Toms was the first to meet Hadley atop the leaderboard on the day when he birdied his first three holes to reach 16-under.
Toms, however, bogeyed the fourth to fall a shot off the pace before Hadley birdied the second to move two clear at 17-under.
Lee was next to earn a share of the lead with gains at the second and fourth, but Hadley answered with consecutive birdies at the fourth and fifth to again claim a 2-stroke lead.
Hadley bogeyed the sixth to cut his advantage to one, but bounced right back with a birdie at the seventh to get back to 19-under and claim a 3-stroke lead over Loupe as Lee bogeyed the seventh and eighth to fall to 15-under.
Loupe had followed an opening bogey with birdies at the second, third, fourth and sixth around an eagle at the fifth to jump to minus-16. He then countered a bogey at the eighth with a birdie at the ninth to remain there.
No one was able to get closer than three to Hadley from there until Martin, who had four birdies during an outward 32, followed a bogey at the 10th with gains at Nos. 12, 16 and 18 to head into the clubhouse at 17-under.
Lee, meanwhile, followed a birdie at the 10th with a bogey at the 12th to remain at 15-under before rolling in three birdies over his next four holes to pull within one of Hadley at minus-18.
Hadley answered with a birdie at the 17th to regain a 2-shot cushion.
Lee would then birdie the 18th to finish at 19-under and put a little pressure on Hadley entering the final hole, but he closed with a birdie at the 18th to finish two clear of Lee.
"I really felt like I did my best. I gave it my best, but Chesson was just playing rock solid," said Lee. "He made a couple of good up and downs from bad tee shots. When he plays like that, it's just really hard to catch. He just didn't make any silly mistakes at all."
NOTES: Hadley was making just his 13th career start on the PGA Tour ... Hadley's total of 21-under 267 broke Scott Brown's (2013) tournament record by one shot ... Hadley is the only rookie this season to post three top-10 finishes. He also tied for fifth at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and had a share of 10th at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.