Rookie Austin Cook claimed his first PGA Tour victory in his 14th start, shooting 3-under-par 67 to beat J.J. Spaun by four strokes in the RSM Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort in St. Simons Island, Ga.
Cook, who never let go of the lead after shooting 62 in the second round, bounced back from his only bogey of the final round on the second hole and finished in style with birdies on three of the last four holes.
“I slept terribly last night,” said Cook, who earned his PGA Tour card by finishing 15th on the 2017 Web.com Tour regular-season money list. “It means to so to know I can do it. The walk up 18 was awesome, just an unbelievable feeling.
“I knew it was going to be a grind all the way with the wind. It wasn’t until we got to 16 and 17, which were playing downwind, that I felt a little more comfortable. Not that I was coasting in, but just that I was playing good golf.”
Cook, who climbed to third in the FedExCup standings by winning the final event of the Fall Season, posted a winning score of 21-under 261.
Spaun, from Los Angeles and San Diego State, collected six birdies in a 66, while Brian Gay holed his final shot of the day for an eagle from 161 yards after also making an eagle on No. 15 and finished five back in third after a 68.
Kevin Kisner, who won the RSM two years ago, closed with a 68 to wind up seven shots down in a tie for third with Chris Kirk, the 2013 winner who had a 71, Brian Harman, who totaled 65, and Andrew Landry, who wound up at 67.
Local resident Zach Johnson, a two-time major champion, shot 67 and finished eight strokes behind in a tie for eighth with Ben Silverman (66) of Canada, Bud Cauley (66), William McGirt (66) and Vaughn Taylor (68).
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