Kenny Knox twice holed out from off the green today and held on for a one-stroke victory in the $500,000 Honda Classic. The $90,000 winner's purse almost doubled Knox's previous earnings in his PGA Tour career.
Knox, bounced out of the lead by an 80 in Saturday's gales, responded with two-under-par 70 in the final round as the weather modified.
Knox, 29, a Florida State graduate and Tallahassee resident, never was above eighth in an event in three full seasons before he posted his 287 total, one under par on the wind-raked TPC course at Eagle Trace.
He came down the 18th fairway two strokes ahead. But he missed a two-foot putt and took bogey, so he couldn't breathe easy until third-round coleaders Andy Bean and Clarence Rose missed potential playoff-forcing putts, from 20 and 15 feet, respectively.
Rose, second a week ago in Los Angeles, tied for second here with Bean, John Mahaffey and Jodie Mudd.
Knox took a two-shot lead with three early birdies in a row, but nearly gave it back on the seventh hole -- a testy par 3 over water. He hit his tee shot over the green into a sand trap and blasted back over the green into the pond. He dropped back into the trap and holed his sand shot for a bogey 4 that could have been a 6.
With the win, Knox gained an assured spot in regular tour events for almost three years. Here, he got in via open qualifying -- 140 players shooting for four spots. He made it with a 67, then took the first-round lead with 66.