Oklahoma native wins Victoria Open
Some people call it mojo, others call it game. Whatever you want to call it, consider Craig Van Horn the latest player on the Adams Pro Tour to get his back.
After a 42nd place finish and two missed cuts to open the Adams Tour season, Van Horn withstood Will Dodson's rally on the back nine to win the 2010 Victoria Open Saturday.
"For some reason everything was kind of clicking, I never really got in trouble," said the 39-year-old Oklahoma City native.
It was Van Horn's first win since he finished 10 under and edged out Ryan Baca by a stroke at the Adams Winter Series Bay Oaks Championship in Houston last December.
Even though Van Horn complimented the course conditions, it's understandable if he hopes not to return to defend his title next year. The last two Victoria Open winners, Jerod Turner and Ryan Vermeer, have made it to the PGA Tour.
"I just hope that happens to me," Van Horn said.
Van Horn entered the Victoria Open tied for 82nd on the Adams Tour money list. His $15,000 prize Saturday skyrockets him to fourth on that list behind Jose Toledo, Shawn Stefani and Pat Grady.
Van Horn's opening round set up a winning weekend. He shot a solid 4-under 68 putting him in a tie for fourth place, one shot off the lead.
The Victoria wind made things difficult for Van Horn and the rest of the field during Thursday's second round. Van Horn would adjust and after bogeying two of his first four holes, he came back and shot a solid 2-under 70.
Friday Van Horn took control of the Victoria Open. When the wind died down he didn't have trouble placing the ball where he wanted.
"If your hitting it good you can get at any pin when there's no wind," he said.
The lack of wind made it easy for Van Horn to eagle the first hole and set the tone for his final two rounds.
"It gets you under par real quick and lets you relax a little bit and just let it come to you," Van Horn said.
And come to him it did. Van Horn had a superb round three Friday shooting a 6-under 66 and taking a three-stroke lead into the final round Saturday.
Despite not winning a tournament in more than four months, Van Horn didn't change his mindset or approach heading into the final round.
"If your playing well you just really want to come out and play the way you've played," Van Horn said. "You don't want to change anything. I felt like I was in control of my game."
Even though he held a solid lead, Van Horn had to survive an attempted rally by Dodson during the back half of Saturday's final round.
After Van Horn birdied the ninth hole, the pair came to what is considered the toughest hole at Victoria Country Club, the par four 10th.
Van Horn bogeyed the 10th and pared the 12th hole. Meanwhile Dodson birdied the 10th and 12th, making up three strokes that cut a five stroke lead down to two with six holes left.
"I had a good feeling through the front nine," Van Horn said. "I had to buckle down a little bit and try not to make any more mistakes."
Van Horn kept Dodson at bay going into the final hole of the Victoria Open - a par five.
"I was fortunate enough to have a three shot lead at that point," he said. "I knew if I just hit a good tee shot then the second shot wasn't too much of a problem to set up the third."
Van Horn birdied the 18th hole and finished a triumphant weekend in Victoria in which he shot a combined 274, 10 strokes below par and four strokes ahead of Dodson.
Even though Van Horn would love to join Turner and Vermeer in the PGA he's not getting ahead of himself.
"I'm tied for the lead in the next event, we're all even par," Van Horn said. "I really just want to go out and have a good showing and back my win up here with a solid week next week."
The Adams Pro Tour will be in Waco for Jaime Hilton's Hillcrest Golf Classic at Twin Rivers Golf Course.
Victoria Country Club
April 21-24, 2010
1 Craig Van Horn, Oklahoma City,, 68-70-66-70--274 -14, $15,000;
2. Will Dodson Dallas, 67-72-68-71--278 -10, $8,300;
3. Jose Toledo, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 71-71-69-69--280 -8, $6,400;
T4. Andrew Landry, Groves, 71-66-76-68--281 -7, $5,100; T4. Todd Rossetti Dallas, 67-72-70-72--281 -7, $5,100;
T6. Jeremy Alcorn, Brownwood, 70-72-70-70--282 -6 $3,573;
T6 Robert Gwin, Montgomery, TX, 72-72-68-70--282 -6; $3,573;
T6. Chad Saladin Rolla, Mo., 68-70-70-74--282 -6, $3,573;
T9. Robby Ormand, Austin, 68-74-74-67--283 -5 $2,690; T9. Nick Malinowski, Frisco 69-74-69-71--283 -5, $2,690; T11. Bill Allcorn Abilene, 68-74-71-71--284 -4, $2,173;
T11. Zack Reeves, Arlington, 71-73-69-71--284 -4, $2,173; T11. Ryan Nelson, Dickinson, 71-74-66-73--284 -4, $2,173; T14. Brian Mills, Fort Worth, 68-71-76-70--285 -3, $1,898.33; T14. Bobby Hutcherson, Memphis, TX, 71-71-73-70--285 -3, $1,898;
T14. Michael Arnaud, Beaumont, 69-73-75-68--285 -3, $1,898; T17. Michael Smith Lafayette, LA, 67-75-73-71--286 -2, $1,765;
T17. Eddy Koracevic, Milton Keynes, England 72-72-72-70--286 -2, $1,765;
19. Brad Besler Blessing, 72-73-72-70--287 -1, $1,690; T20. Gabe Reynolds, San Marcos, 69-72-73-74--288 E $1,565;
T20. Jeff Burns, San Antonio, 75-73-69-71--288 E, $1,565; T20. Edward Loar Dallas, 72-73-68-75--288 E, $1,565; T20. Aaron Smith, New Orleans, 73-71-69-75--288 E, $1,565;
T24. Will Doughtie, Amarillo, 71-73-72-73--289 +1, $1,415; T24. David D. Schultz, Dallas, 73-75-72-69--289 +1, $1,415;
T26. Daniel Fox Marangaroo, Australia, 71-73-71-75--290 +2 $1,240; T26. Shawn Jasper, Marthasville, Mo., 69-73-71-77--290 +2, $1,240;
T26. Randy Lowry Houston, 68-75-71-76--290 +2, $1,240; T26. Paul Norris, Dallas, 72-71-74-73--290 +2, $1,240;