Sepp Straka the first Austrian to win on the PGA Tour.

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By : BGA

Sepp Straka the first Austrian to win on the PGA Tour.

While Daniel Berger blew a 5 shot lead heading into Sunday, Straka made the most of the opportunity to win The Honda Classic.

Berger who started the day at 11 under had a 5 shot lead over four others – Straka, Shane Lowry, Kurt Kitayama, and Chris Kirk.

While the others were moving up the leader board, Berger was coming back to the field fast. He double-bogeyed his 3rd hole and then had back-to-back bogeys on the 5th and 6th and his lead was all but gone. He tried to hang in there with a birdie on the 7th but the others were starting to get busy.

Straka who went out in a 2 under 34 put himself in contention for his first win. After a birdie on the 14th, he was sitting just off the green for 2 on the 16th hole and rolled it in for birdie and a tie of the lead.

With the weather coming in and rain coming down, Straka had 199 yards for this second into the par 5 18th hole. Water was down the right side of the fairway and green but Straka knew he needed to make a birdie if he wanted to win. After hitting a safe second into the heart of the green he made a 2 putt birdie to get himself into the clubhouse at 10 under and the solo lead.

 When Lowry failed to birdie the last hole, it left him one behind Straka and a runner up finish for the Irishman.  

“The third round I definitely didn’t have my best stuff and just hung in there and grounded out a good round, and I hit the ball really nice today and really took advantage,” Straka said. “Just hanging in there.”

“It’s awesome,” Straka said. “I had no idea where I stood. I knew so many things could happen on the back nine. Most of it was out of my control, so I tried to keep my head down and hit good shots. I knew I could win because there was only one guy ahead of me. Strange things happen out here.”

“It’s a lifelong dream of mine just to be heading to Augusta,” said Straka, who played at the University of Georgia after his family moved from Austria to the U.S. when he was 14. “It’s still surreal. I’m sure it will sink in at some time. It’s just crazy what this all means. I’ll have to do some research tonight.”

Berger also had time to reflect on his round after blowing a 5 shot lead.

“I didn’t play well, so I didn’t win the golf tournament,” said Berger, who’s now 1-of-4 in converting 54-hole leads. “I just didn’t hit the shots that I needed to hit at the right time.

“Just a poor round. It can happen at any time. I’m not going to dwell on it too much. I don’t think I made a single putt today.”
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