Brandon Harkins of Walnut Creek and Cal State Chico has broken through to win on the Korn Ferry Tour for the first time after 134 starts.
The 35-year-old Harkins parred the second playoff hole to turn back Zecheng Dou of China and win the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club in Great Abaco, The Bahamas.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Harkins, whose only other pro victory came in the 2021 Taylor Made Pebble Beach Invitational. “I’m starting to get a little bit emotional. This is for my wife and my two boys at home. My wife means the world to me, and she is the most supportive person I’ve ever met. She just always pushes me to be better, and she’s the best mom to our boys (Jackson and Hunter).
“This win, it feels great, but you know what, it’s for them, it’s for my family, my mom, my brother, everyone. Can’t wait to get home and give them a big hug.”
Harkins, who finished one stroke back three times earlier in his pro career, carded a score of 69-65-68-68—270, 18-under, while Dou made two birdies on the back nine to finish at 66-69-69-66—270.
After both players made pars on the first extra hole, Dou drove into the penalty on the second playoff hole and Harkins was able to win with a solid par.
“There’s been weeks where I felt like I’ve played pretty darn good and haven’t won,” Harkins said. “Playing the PGA Tour is great, it’s what we all strive to do, but with that said, everyone wants to win, and this is my first big win out here. This means a lot to me. I will never forget this.
“I just told myself all day (that) I believed in my ability and my talent, and I just really tried to focus on sticking to my process and playing my game, and seeing how we stood at the end. It’s a lot easier said than done when you get in the heat of things, but, for the most part, I did a really nice job of that today.”
The victory moved Harkins to the top of the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points Standings, 21 points ahead of last week’s winner, Akshay Bhatia of Northridge, who missed the cut this time.
Seonghyeon Kim of South Korea was solo third at 71-65-70-66—272, while Kevin Roy of Long Beach State shot 68-69-68-70—275 to tie for fourth with Tain Lee of Claremont Mudd College, who finished at 71-66-68-70—275, and Erik Barnes, who wound up at 72-67-64-72—275.
Trevor Werbylo totaled 69-69-70-68—276 to tie for seventh with Dawson Armstrong, who finished at 65-70-72-69—276, Kevin Dougherty of Murrieta, who wound up at 69-71-67-69—276, and Julian Etulain of Argentina, who came in at 66-70-68-72—276.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/korn-ferry-tour/leaderboard.html