Martin Trainer of Palo Alto made the cut only three times in his first eight events on the PGA Tour this season as a rookie heading into the Puerto Rico Open, the opposite field event as the stars played in the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Then 27-year-old Trainer birdied the last hole to cap at 5-under-par 67 and win by three strokes over Daniel Berger, Aaron Baddeley of Australia, Roger Sloan of Canada and Johnson Wagner at Cocoa Beach Golf and Country Club www.cocopuertorico.com/golf in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
“I never thought I’d be able to win on the PGA Tour and I managed to do it today and it’s just incredible,” said Trainer, who has won twice on the Web.com Tour and the PGA LatinoAmerica. “I don’t know what’s more pressure: Thinking that you’re tied for the lead or knowing that you have a two-shot lead. Because those are different types of pressure, but they’re both pressure.
“I never had the luxury of making a plan. … I was just trying to play as many events as I could. So now I guess that will be a little different, I’ll be able to pick and choose where I want to go and have a little more flexibility with my schedule. It’s just such a great feeling to be able to have that.”
Trainer, who earned a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and berths in the Players Championship next month, the PGA Champion and the Sentry Tournament of Champions, came from two strokes behind Baddeley in the final round to win with a score of 15-under 273.
A product of Gunn High in Palo Alto, Trainer captured 2008 San Francisco City Championship at the age of 16, the 2009 Northern California Amateur Championship and the 2011 Pacific 12 Conference Championship as a sophomore at USC while leading the Trojans to the team title.
Berger shot 67 to tie for second with Sloan (68), Wagner (69) and Baddeley (72), while Shawn Stefani finished with a 65 to wind up four shots back in a tie for seventh with Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, who shot 66.
Ben Crane posted a score of 70 to finished another stroke back in a tie for eighth with Nate Lashley, who had a 73, while Austen Truslow recorded a 66 to finish six down in a tie for 10th with Scott Brown (68), J.J. Henry (69), Roberto Ortiz (71) of Mexico and Wyndham Clark (72) and Joey Garber (72).
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/competition/2019/puerto-rico-open/leaderboard.html