Barber rallies to win South Georgia Classic


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Valdosta, GA ( - Blayne Barber closed with a 5-under 67 on Sunday and he came from behind to win the South Georgia Classic.

Barber, who won for the first time on the Tour, finished at 15-under- par 273.

"It feels so great. I didn't look at a scoreboard all day and I'm realizing now that it happened. Today was just a blur," Barber stated. "I played some good golf and the next thing I know I'm sitting here as a champion. I really didn't see it coming this week. It really came from out of nowhere."

Alex Prugh also shot 67 to take second place at minus-13 at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club. Third-round leader Carlos Ortiz, who was looking for his third win of the season and an automatic move to the PGA Tour, managed an even-par 72.

Greg Owen (69), Ryan Armour (70) and Rob Oppenheim (72) shared fourth place at 11-under 277.

Barber, who had two top-10 finishes in 16 career tour starts before this week, birdied the third and fourth to move to 12-under par, where he shared the lead with Adam Webb, who had four bogeys on the back nine.

At the sixth, Barber converted his third birdie of the round to move one clear of Webb. Around the turn, Barber pulled away from the field with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11.

However, he stumbled to a double bogey on the par-4 12th after finding a hazard off the tee. That dropped him back into a tie with Webb, who was two groups behind Barber.

Barber bounced back with a birdie on the par-3 14th and he was one clear of Prugh. Barber extended his lead to two with a birdie on No. 16, and he finished there with pars on the final two holes.

"My number today was 15. I thought I might at least have a shot, but you never really know, there are so many good players," explained Barber. "I feel like I'm not very good at overcoming adversity. I think the reason I came out on top today was that I just took my hands off the steering wheel a little bit and just played golf and didn't look at any boards."

This is a redemption of sorts for Barber, who disqualified himself after the first stage of PGA Tour Q School in 2012 for moving a leaf from a bunker. He had advanced to second stage, but later DQ'd himself for only taking a one- shot penalty instead of a two-shot penalty.

Prugh had a birdie and eight pars on the front nine. Around the turn, he poured in three straight birdie chances from the 10th. Prugh moved to 13-under with a birdie on the 16th, then he closed with a pair of pars.

NOTES: Barber earned $117,000 for the win and moved to sixth on the money list ... He was the sixth first-time winner this season ... After a week off, the Tour heads to South Carolina for the BMW Charity Pro-Am, where Mark Anderson won last year.

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