RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (AP) — Needing to win or finish second in solo to maintain his status on the PGA Tour, Ryan Brehm came out on Sunday and rode away with the Puerto Rico Open for his first title on the circuit.
With his wife Chelsey by his side as a caddy, Brehm, 35, nailed five of the first 11 holes at windy, rainy Grand Reserve and beat Max McGreevy by six strokes.
Three shots before the start of the day, Brehm shot a 5-under 67 to finish 20-under 268 in the decisive start on a minor medical extension. He was granted a tournament extension after having to pull out of the Zuruch Classic last year due to COVID-19.
“It might look like Bill Belichick or Nick Saban here, but honestly I wasn’t thinking about the impact of my status or anything this week,” Brehm said. “I think that’s probably the real lesson here. I have people on my team who will do it for me. Really, I just need to put my head down and hit good golf shot after good golf shot. It’s my job and I’m going to trust the people around me to do their job and they can take care of all those details for me.
With the event being played opposite the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida, Brehm received a two-year exemption and a berth in the PGA Championship, but will not be exempted for the Masters. The 6-foot-4 former Michigan State player earned his 68th start on the circuit. It is ranked 773rd in the world.
Brehm started fast with a birdie on par-4 first and added another on par-5 fifth. He ran three in a row on the par-4 ninth and 10th and par-3 11th and parried the last seven.
“The weather today – oh, my God, it got crazy out there,” Brehm said. “I think it helped me because I was on a few hits and I was like, ‘Just hit it.’ It worked every time. It doesn’t always work, but today it does. This time has gone crazy.
The Brehms became the first husband-wife caddy team to win since Justine and Patrick Reed at the 2013 Wyndham Championship.
“Our focus this week was just to get better every day, every shot, every round, every hole,” Brehm said. “We committed to it and I can say it worked this week. I think it took a lot of mental discipline, a lot of conversation. It was great having Chels up there with me caddying. It was a special week. I don’t know, there was just something special from the moment we landed.
Brehm also earned a spot next week in the Players Championship.
McGreevy finished with a 69.
Brandon Wu (69) and Tommy Gainey (70) were another comeback hit at 13 under, and Callum Tarren (70) and Chad Ramey (71) were at 12 under.
University of Oklahoma senior Chris Gotterup tied for seventh in his PGA Tour debut, shooting an 81 to finish 11 under. He won the collegiate Puerto Rico Classic event two weeks ago at Grand Reserve.
Puerto Rico native Rafa Campos finished tied for 59th at under 2, shooting 73-75 over the weekend.
Weather: Partly cloudy, with showers in the afternoon. High of 83. Wind ENE 15-20 mph, gusts to 28 mph. The final round included
trios of numbers 1 and 10 between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. AST.
Final round standings
Ryan Brehm 66-67-68-67—268 (-20)
Max McGreevy 70-64-71-69—274 (-14)
Brandon Wu 69-69-68-69—275 (-13)
Tom Gainey 69-67-69-70—275 (-13)
Things to know
• In one and only start on a minor medical extension, Ryan Brehm wins the first PGA TOUR title
• Brehm earns 300 FedExCup points, full exempt status through the 2023-24 season and a spot on this week’s THE PLAYERS
• At No. 773 in the Official World Golf Ranking, become
Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located in the European Economic Area.