Ben Crane stood on the 18th tee with a two-shot lead, his first PGA Tour victory within reach.
He planned to play conservatively, but a 357-yard drive changed that strategy.
Crane made an eagle on the last hole yesterday and beat Bob Tway by four shots at the BellSouth Classic in Duluth, Ga., for his first victory in his 40th tour event.
"I am so thankful, I played great. I'm a little numb still," said Crane, the first first-time winner on the PGA Tour this year.
Crane's eagle at the 18th punctuated a 29 on the back nine, and his 63 tied the course record. His 127 total in the last two rounds is the lowest on tour this season.
At 5 feet 10 and 165 pounds, Crane, a Portland, Ore., native, doesn't look like a big hitter. But his drive on the par-5 18th carried just over the top of a hill, then bounded down the fairway and through a gallery crossing path.
The drive wound up 190 yards from the green, and Crane felt he couldn't afford to lay up.
"When you hit it there, you've got to go," he said. "If you hit it on top of the hill, you have a one-shot lead, you lay up."
He hit a 7-iron 20 feet behind the hole, then high-fived his caddy. Crane chose to make the walk up to the green with playing partner Stewart Cink, who lives inside the gates of the TPC at Sugarloaf.
When Crane rolled in the eagle putt, he flipped his putter in the air, then pumped his fists several times before hugging Cink.
"I've been struggling with the mental part of allowing myself to play well, and Stewart has become a very good, close friend," said Crane, whose previous best finish was a tie for 10th.
Tway, who trailed leader Lee Janzen by two shots entering the final round, held the top spot for most of the day until a three-putt bogey at No. 15.
Up ahead at No. 16, Crane made a birdie to take the lead.
"I could have hit a few closer shots, and I could have made a couple of putts there, but Ben shot a fabulous round," said Tway, who hasn't won in eight years. "So I'm not going to kick myself in the rear, but I still have some improving to do."
Janzen fared worse. Trying to end a five-year winless streak of his own, he shot 77 and finished eight shots behind Crane.
* LPGA: Annika Sorenstam struggled with her game all tournament and still played well enough to earn her first victory of the year.
Sorenstam shot a final-round 1-under 71 to win the Office Depot Championship by four strokes in Valencia, Calif. Defending champion Se Ri Pak, Pat Hurst and Heather Bowie finished tied for second. Pak shot 71, while Hurst had a 72 and Bowie a 73.
Sorenstam, who will compete against PGA Tour players in the Colonial Invitational next month, scrambled but kept the lead after each of the first two rounds at El Caballero Country Club.
Fast, sloping greens kept scores relatively high, and with a 5-under 211 total, Sorenstam and the group at 215 were the only players to finish the 54-hole event under par.