Valdosta, GA – Luke List eagled the 13th hole to jump into the lead, and later made a birdie to help secure a two-stroke victory on Sunday at the South Georgia Classic.
List had bogeyed the 12th hole to fall behind, but his strong closing stretch allowed him to earn his first career Nationwide Tour win. He carded a four- under 68 to finish at 16-under-par 272.
Brian Stuard fired a six-under 66 on Sunday at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, but started the round too far back and took second at minus-14.
The victory was a long time in the making for List, who had been close to winning before. Prior to Sunday, he had six career top-10s, including a pair of runner-up finishes. One of those came in early March at the Panama Claro Championship, where he was one of four tied for second place behind Edward Loar.
"It feels fantastic," List said. "It's hard to describe. I really put my head down, especially on the weekend. I knew where I was all day and it was nice to perform under the pressure. Hopefully this will be a turning point for me and I can get a few more this year."
The 27-year-old's victory was a convincing one. He came up with crucial shots down the stretch when many of his competitors faltered.
Woody Austin, who shared the third-round lead with List, stumbled to a one- over 73 after carding three bogeys on the back nine. Austin finished in third place at 11-under 277.
Will MacKenzie had perhaps the most stunning fall. He was alone in first after making a birdie at the 10th, which put him at 15-under. But a bogey at 11, double-bogey at 12 and triple-bogey at the last sent him into the clubhouse with a 73. MacKenzie shared seventh place with three others at minus-nine.
MacKenzie's fall was a turning point of sorts. At the point he reached minus-15, List was a shot behind, having birdied his first two holes before rolling in nine consecutive pars.
List's chance at victory took a hit when he three-putted at 12, a mistake that dropped him back to minus-13.
While List was essentially treading water, Stuard continued to play excellent golf. His bogey-free round included six birdies, including one at 16 that pushed his score to 14-under.
But List, one of the tour's longest hitters, rebounded from his bogey in a big way at the par-five 13th. He blasted a hybrid within six feet of the hole and knocked in the eagle to jump into first.
"This course sets up so well for me that I just told myself to stay out of your way and do the right things," said List. "Out here with my length, I just had so many opportunities."
List averaged 329 yards off the tee during the tournament and ranked first in that category, but lagged behind in other categories, like driving accuracy.
However, after his bogey, List played quality golf. He followed his eagle with a birdie at 16 to create some cushion, then parred his final two holes, two- putting at the last to secure the title.
First round-leader Robert Streb carded a two-under 70 to finish at minus-10, in a tie for fourth with Justin Hicks (67) and Richard Scott (70).
NOTES: List pocketed $112,500 for the victory...His score of 16-under 272 matched the tournament record set last year by Ted Potter, Jr...Next week, the Nationwide Tour stays in Georgia for the Stadion Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Club. Last year, UGA senior Russell Henley became the second amateur in Nationwide Tour history to win an event.