Bob Tway was preparing for his third shot on the par-5 18th hole when he realized he needed a birdie to avoid a playoff with his friend and former Oklahoma State teammate Willie Wood in the $600,000 Westchester Golf Classic.
"I decided to go for the birdie with a hard sand wedge," Tway said. "And it turned out real well."
The shot from 110 yards away left him two feet from the hole and he rolled in the putt for his fifth birdie of the day and a one-stroke victory.
"My drive into the rough on 18 took away the option of going for the green in two, so I just laid up and then hit the sand wedge," he said. "I feel bad for Willie, but that's the way golf is. I wish he could win, too, but that's not the way golf works."
Tway finished with a 4-under-par 67 for a four-day total of 272, 12 strokes under par.
Playing in the threesome ahead of Tway, Wood birdied the 18th after narrowly missing a 40-foot putt for eagle. He finished with a 66, the best round of the day, and a total 273.
The victory was the second of the season for Tway, who will play in the U.S. Open later this week. He earned $108,000 and raised his season earnings to $341,618.
Wood, who started the day two strokes behind leaders Tway, Ray Floyd and Mike Reid, made the turn in 4-under-par 32.
Tway had a string of seven pars from the 11th to the 17th before sinking his clinching putt on the 18th.
Tied for third place at 275 were Scott Simpson and Gil Morgan. Each shot 67 on the closing round.