FARMINGTON, Pa. —Clayton Rotz sat in amazement following the final round of the 96th Pennsylvania Open.
Rotz, from Chambersburg, had just reached the pinnacle of his young career with the Open title, his first as a professional.
“I’m in awe that my name will be on this trophy forever,” said Rotz, noting others inscripted — including three-time winners Jay Sigel and Bob Ford, along with Tommy Armour and Lloyd Mangrum.
Arnold Palmer and Jim Furyk never managed better than runner-up finishes.
After he blistered the Nemacolin Woodlands Mystic Rock course for consecutive 66s and a six-shot lead heading into Wednesday’s final round, Rotz carded a 1-over-par 73 for an 11-under 205 total and a three-shot victory.
“The last two months on the NGA Tour, I’ve been playing really well,” said Rotz. “I expected to come to the Open to do well. I hit the ball where I wanted to and stayed aggressive.”
Rotz, who earned $8,000, continued to maintain his margin throughout the final round until he bogeyed three of the final four holes to drop from 14 under following a birdie on the par-3 12th.
“I was up by seven shots with five holes to play and was still sticking to my game plan,” said Rotz. “I might have gotten a little conservative.”
The left-hander had 18 birdies in the tournament and just seven bogeys.
Rotz plans on returning to the NGA Tour, as well as playing Monday qualifiers for upcoming web.com (previously the Nationwide Tour) events in Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
Chad Bricker, of Waynesboro, finished in a tie for 28th place, shooting a 2-over 74 on Wednesday and finishing at 12-over 228.
— Tim Koelble