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Piercy overcomes struggles to earn third victory

Sinking a 60 foot putt on 18 is always a nice way to win

S ’s recent struggles on the golf course were almost a distant memory as he walked the back nine of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National, armed with a four-stroke lead.

“I just knew it was a matter of time coming back and it’s been a long road, but my whole goal after having surgery was to come back better,” Piercy said. “The way I played today compared to my last two victories was a lot better. I mean, I flushed it, I struck the ball so well, and so I would say I’m kind of where we imagined I would be.”

Piercy birdied four of the first six holes to take a four-shot lead over his closest competitors, a lead he maintained throughout the afternoon as different challengers tried to overtake him. In the end, Piercy’s consistent play was enough to earn him his third PGA Tour victory and first since the RBC Canadian Open in 2012.

Piercy began the season on a major medical extension following surgery in 2014 to repair a torn flexor digitorum superficialis in his right arm. The injury occurred at the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2013 and he spent the rest of the season trying to track the source of the injury, finally withdrawing from The Honda Classic in February 2014 and having an operation that sidelined him for much of the 2014 season.

He finished with a 19-under for the tournament after shooting a 6-under-65 for the second consecutive day.

“Obviously when you win, it jumps you quite up the FedExCup points list,” Piercy said. “The goal is to get into the top 30 to make it to the Tour Championship, to get back to the majors, the WGCs. So, hopefully, this is a springboard for that.”

Will Wilcox was the closest of the competitors, pulling within three strokes when he sank a 60-foot putt on the 18th green. By then, it was too late, but Wilcox, a Birmingham native, virtually wrapped up his PGA Tour card for 2016 in front of family and friends.

“You always dream about doing something like that in front of them,” Wilcox said. “I mean, I know I didn’t win or anything like that, but finishing solo second is still a big deal to me. I don’t care if it isn’t to anyone else.” 

 

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