Date: February 02, 2009
Author: Sportal and PA Sport

Nitties equal fourth at FBR

Aussie James Nitties has finished in a tie for fourth position at the FBR Open on 12-under-par and two shots off winner Kenny Perry who beat Charlie Hoffman in a playoff. Nittties started the day in a share of sixth position but fought his way up the leaderboard on the back of a three-under-par final-round 68 which comprised of four birdies on the front nine and a bogey at the 17th. Rod Pampling was the next-best Australian on nine-under while John Senden and Geoff Ogilvy finished a stroke further back on eight-under. Perry survived a scare and outlasted Hoffman in the third hole of the playoff to win the tournament. A three-time PGA Tour winner last season, Perry finished two-under for the day and 14-under for the tournament. Hoffman shot four-under to also finish 14-under and Kevin Na was unable to sink an eight-foot putt on 18 and settled for a three-under to finish one stroke behind. The 48-year-old Perry had to settle for a playoff after bogeying the 18th hole. After Perry and Hoffman recorded a bogey and par on the first two playoff holes, Perry was able to emerge victorious and claim his 13th PGA Tour victory. “To me, this is a place I always felt like I could win,” Perry said. “I always felt very comfortable on this golf course, and for whatever reason, I didn&apost putt well these last two days. But I hit it good enough to do well, and I thought it was going to be a special day.” On the par-four 17th hole, Perry&aposs tee shot went to the right of the green before chipping in a 22-foot birdie. “The playoff was ugly,” Perry said. “We were hitting it everywhere, having to scramble from all over the place. But that was neat for me to make a putt – that&aposs probably the first putt I&aposve ever made to win.” “Those are the putts you think about when you&aposre a kid; you&aposre on the putting green saying, &aposThis is to win the Masters&apos or whatever, and I finally made one. It took me a long time to do it.” For his part, Hoffman was unable to answer as his tee shot flew into the bunker. He later chipped to the fringe, but his 34-foot attempt for birdie was off the mark. “Unfortunately, obviously, (I) didn&apost get it done,” said Hoffman, whose only victory on the PGA Tour came in the 2007 Bob Hope Classic. “Kenny gave me a few opportunities, I gave him a few opportunities and he happened to close the door. Obviously in the playoff, Kenny and I got in some trouble off the tee on 1. Then I had my chance on 18, then I had my chance on 10 and didn&apost do it.” For his part, Na didn&apost lament his final putt which went awry, resulting in his third-place finish. “I hit a good putt, just misread the green a little bit,” he said. “I putted awesome today. I made all the clutch putts I needed to. I&aposm disappointed, but I&aposm proud of myself.” PGA Tour, Fourth Round of the FBR Open, Arizona -14: Kenny Perry 72 63 66 69 (won playoff), Charlie Hoffman 66 68 69 67 -13: Kevin Na 67 70 66 68 -12: James Nitties (Australia) 65 69 70 68, David Toms 69 68 67 68 -11: Brian Gay 68 68 67 60, Matt Kuchar 67 67 70 69, Ryan Moore 69 67 68 69, Scott Piercy 69 67 66 71 -10: Cliff Kresge 68 69 68 69, Jeff Maggert 70 68 66 70 -9: Michael Letzig 70 67 69 69, Zach Johnson 71 66 68 70, Rod Pampling (Australia) 72 69 69 65, Rory Sabbatini 72 65 69 69, Nick Watney 70 63 72 70 -8: Parker McLachlin 68 71 69 68, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 70 69 65 72, John Senden (Australia) 68 70 72 66, D.J. Trahan 68 74 69 65 Also: -4: Aaron Baddeley (Australia) 69 73 66 72, Jarrod Lyle (Australia) 71 69 69 71 -2: Nathan Green (Australia) 73 69 67 73 -1: Steve Elkington (Australia) 70 69 71 73