Joey Sindelar won his way into the Masters today, but said he'll go to Augusta, Ga., by way of Horseheads, N.Y.
"I'm not a negative thinker," Sindelar said after his surprise, one-stroke victory in wind, rain and cold at the Greater Greensboro Open, his first on the PGA Tour. "But I only came here with clothes for one week. I've got to go home and regroup."
Sindelar, who won $116,528 last year as a Tour rookie, came from four strokes off the pace and passed 15 players with a closing round of 69, then waited around for more than an hour for the rest of the field to finish and confirm his victory. It was achieved with a 285 total, three under par.
"Unbelievable. I'm so excited I can hardly talk," Sindelar said.
Isao Aoki and former Masters champion Craig Stadler tied for second. Stadler had a 71 in the strong winds, occasional showers and increasing cold. Aoki, winner of 44 international titles, matched par 72.
Corey Pavin shot a 71 to finish fourth at 287. Jeff Sluman, who led through the first two rounds, fell to even par and a fifth-place tie at 288 with Ed Fiori, Doug Tewell, Bill Kratzert and Dan Pohl.
The third-round coleaders, Ray Floyd and rookie Phil Blackmar, struggled. Floyd shot 78 for a 290 total, Blackmar 81 for 293.
While other golfers played conservatively in the bad weather, Sindelar said he decided to go for broke.
"They kept saying anybody four shots out had a chance," he said. "I tried to attack, but without stupidity.
"Today was the kind of day you ask to catch up with."
Sindelar took the lead on the eighth hole when he sank a 22-foot birdie putt. When he saw his name on the leader board for the first time at that point, "I almost fell back in the bunker," Sindelar said.
Aoki drew even with a birdie on the 11th, but fell back to two under when his approach shot on No. 14 bounced off the green and the chip shot rolled inches past the cup for a bogey.
Sindelar's victory was worth $72,000 from the total purse of $400,000 and pushed his money winnings for the year to $87,044.