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Bettencourt holds on, edges Dunedin's Heintz

RENO, Nev. — Matt Bettencourt will play in the PGA Championship for the first time thanks to an excellent eagle, pristine putting and a caddie who kept him calm.

That he made bogey on No. 18 just made it dramatic when Dunedin's Bob Heintz missed a 3-foot putt on No. 18 that would have forced a playoff in the Reno-Tahoe Open.

Instead, Bettencourt won for the first time on tour, shooting 4-under 68 for a one-stroke edge at 11-under 277 on Sunday.

"I made some great up and downs," Bettencourt said. "I feel like I'm as good of a bunker player as anybody in the world."

After Bettencourt's eagle on the par-5 11th, he closed with a birdie and two bogeys.

The best putter at Reno all week, Bettencourt had 12 one-putts and only 24 total Sunday. He said a lot of the credit for keeping him calm down the stretch went to caddie Matthew Achatz.

Heintz (69) started the week trying to qualify for a Nationwide Tour event in Ohio before he was notified he'd qualified for Reno.

Heintz, 40, a graduate of Yale with a degree in economics, was pleased to come away with $324,000 for finishing second.

"I think it's my biggest check ever," Heintz said. "I kind of played like the Bob of old where my survival instincts kicked in and my short game was just shy of brilliant all day. I holed out three times from off the green."

Florida Open: Ben Vertz of Coral Springs shot 2-under 69 in the final round on the Copperhead Course to win the title at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor.

Vertz, who led by two after two rounds, finished at 4-under 210 to edge Tyler McCumber (69) of Ponte Vedra Beach by three strokes.

"This is the biggest victory of my career, and this is an incredible feeling," Vertz said.

Devin Hernandez (71) of Seminole was the top Tampa Bay player, tying for fifth at 216.

Bettencourt holds on, edges Dunedin's Heintz 07/18/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 18, 2010 10:24pm]
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