Marc Turnesa Marc Turnesa earns first PGA Tour win in Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Getting over his near miss in last month's Viking Classic got a whole lot easier for Marc Turnesa on Sunday.

Turnesa shot a 4-under-par 68 to collect his first PGA Tour victory in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The 30-year-old former North Carolina State star finished with a tournament-record 25-under 263 for a one-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar, breaking the previous tournament record set by 2007 champion George McNeill (23-under 264).

The victory came a little less than a month after Turnesa lost in a playoff to Will MacKenzie in Madison, Miss. After that, he missed consecutive cuts in the Turning Stone Resort Championship and Valero Texas Open before getting back in the hunt at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

"It was disappointing, but you know what? I did the best I could, and it didn't work out," Turnesa told reporters. "You just got to get over it and move on. There's a tournament every week out here, and you just got to take the positive out of it and move on."

The wire-to-wire victory earned Turnesa $738,000 and helped him be one of three players who were able to climb into the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list, joining Michael Allen and Davis Love III. The top 125 players on the final money list receive exempt status for 2009.

Allen (70), Chad Campbell (67) and John Mallinger (68) all tied for third at 22-under 266. Tim Herron, who had the round of the day with a 10-under 62, tied for sixth with Love (67) at 21-under 267.

Turnesa also performed late-season heroics in 2007, winning the Nationwide Tour's Miccosukee Championship on Oct. 28. The victory, which came in the last regular season event of the year, helped Turnesa earn his PGA Tour status for 2008 as one of the Nationwide Tour's 25 graduates.

"It was a great week. I don't think I need to tell you that, but I just putted well all week, and I hit it pretty well," Turnesa said. "To win this golf tournament means a lot, especially after coming up short a few weeks ago. It's been a great week, and it's a great tournament and a great golf course."

Turnesa became the fourth rookie and the 12th first-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2008. He also became the eighth first-time winner — and the fifth consecutive — in the tournament, joining Jim Furyk (1995), Tiger Woods (1996), Phil Tataurangi (2002), Andre Stolz (2004), West Short Jr. (2005), Troy Matteson (2006) and McNeill (2007).

"I know I'll be playing on the PGA Tour for two more years, so I'm excited about that," Turnesa said. "To be honest with you, that's been weighing on me more than anything, is not having a job out here and the uncertainty.

"I don't know how it'll change my career or if it will at all, but it's just nice to have a little bit of cushion because it's something I've never had before."

The runner-up finish for Kuchar was the second of his career, with the first coming at the 2001 Texas Open at LaCantera. The former Georgia Tech All-American posted his lone victory on tour at the 2002 Honda Classic.

Kuchar said he was impressed with Turnesa, who used a birdie on No. 17 to gain a two-shot cushion.

"I think really should have won (the Viking Classic)," Kuchar said. "It's great to see a guy bounce back and get that victory a month later. That was awesome."

October 20, 2008

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