Jeff Shain | The Downswing
1:25 PM PDT, October 15, 2012
Though Florida State’s golf program still has some ground to make up to produce the number of PGA Tour winners as such longtime powers at Oklahoma State, Texas or those guys in Gainesville, the Seminoles now can boast of one more than a week ago.
Sweden’s Jonas Blixt became FSU’s seventh PGA Tour winner with Sunday’s victory at the Frys.com Open, holding on to finish one shot ahead of Brian Kokrak and fast-closing Tim Petrovic.
“I really can’t believe this is happening,” Blixt told reporters at CordeValle GC.
The Swede became the third PGA Tour rookie to win this season, joining John Huh (Mayakoba Classic) and Ocala’s Ted Potter Jr. (Greenbrier Classic). Though Blixt already was assured of another year on the tour, the victory locks him in through the 2014 season.
One week earlier in Las Vegas, he finished third behind Ryan Moore after they had shared the lead heading into the final round of the JT Shriners Hospitals Open. Blixt stumbled with a final-round 70.
“You learn something every time,” Blixt said. “Last week I didn't play very well in the final round. I got a little too cute with some shots and wasn't aggressive enough. So I told myself at the end of the day, just stay as aggressive as you can and put pressure on them.
“It feels pretty good when I get on the green and am competing with someone else. I’m pretty confident with my putter.“
Blixt gives FSU a pair of PGA Tour winners this year, with George McNeill winning the Puerto Rico Open back in March. McNeill also was a 2007 winner in Las Vegas.
Before that, though, you’d have to go back to Jeff Sluman’s 2002 Greater Milwaukee Open victory to find the last win by a former Seminole.
Hubert Green is FSU’s all-time leader with 19 PGA Tour wins, including majors at the 1977 U.S. Open and 1985 PGA Championship. Sluman (1988) and Paul Azinger (1993) also are former PGA Championship winners.
(When you think about it, three major champions among just seven total PGA Tour winners isn't a bad ratio...)
Azinger captured 12 PGA Tour titles in all and remains the Ryder Cup’s most recent winning U.S. captain, guiding the 2008 victors at Valhalla. Kenny Knox and Nolan Henke round out FSU’s list, each with three PGA Tour wins.Jeff Shain covers golf for the Orlando Sentinel and Tribune Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffShain, or reach him via email at email@example.com.
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