Kirk wins, Senden 4th at McGladrey

Chris Kirk has won the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic by one shot over Tim Clark and Briny Baird with a 4-under-par 66 on Sunday to finish with a four-round total of 14-under at Sea Island Resort’s Seaside Course on St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Kirk received his second PGA Tour trophy from tournament host Davis Love III, his hero when he first took the game.

John Senden John Senden (Credit: Anthony Powter)

“To come here to Sea Island, which is a place that I love and cherish so much, and Davis’ tournament, it’s just an unbelievable thing,” said Kirk.

“Davis was kind of my guy when I was 12 and 13, really starting to play golf. He was my favourite player, and he’s turned from being my idol to sort of a mentor and good friend. So I’m a very lucky person to be in that situation, and to win his tournament really means a lot to me.”

The victory sends Kirk to the Masters for the first time and he also gets into the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua to start 2014.

Kirk survived a rollercoaster closing nine on Sunday thanks to one big mistake by Briny Baird that keeps Baird winless in 365 starts on the PGA Tour.

The pair were tied for the lead playing the 18th hole at Sea Island when Baird drove into a fairway bunker, the ball below his feet. He topped a 4-iron that went about 90 yards and into a hazard.

Kirk then only had to make par for a one-shot win over Baird and Clark, after Clark stormed home with an impressive 62.

It was a crushing loss for Baird, who now has six runner-up finishes since the 41-year-old first joined the PGA Tour in 1999.

The only consolation for Baird came when he made a 25-foot bogey putt to share second place with Clark. That gave him $484,000, which secures his card for the rest of the season.

Baird was exempt on a major medical extension from having surgery on both shoulders at the end of 2012.

John Senden was the best of the Aussies finishing in a tie for 4th at 12-under with Greg Chalmers securing a top-10 finish at 8-under.

Stuart Appleby and Aaron Baddeley finished well down the leaderboard in a tie for 36th and 40th, while Steven Bowditch was at 3-over-par to finish 62nd. Robert Allenby and Scott Gardiner missed the weekend.

The PGA Tour’s 2013-14 ‘wraparound season’ – which has six events this year -continues on 14th November with the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico.

It then takes a six-week break before resuming in January with its traditional swing through Hawaii and then moves to the US West Coast for six events in California and Arizona.