By Sports Network | The Sports Network • Published February 24, 2013
Kevin Foley rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the final hole on Sunday to capture his first career victory at the Panama Claro Championship.
Foley carded a 3-under 67 in the final round at Club de Golf de Panama to finish at 8-under 272 for the tournament, which was a stroke ahead of third- round leader Mathew Goggin.
"If you had told me a year ago that I'd be standing here I probably wouldn't have believed you," said Foley. "I'd take it, but I wouldn't believe it."
Goggin entered Sunday with a 2-stroke lead, but recorded a double and triple bogey during his final round en route to an even-par 70.
Scott Brown (66) finished alone in third place at minus-6, while Scott Dunlap (68), Len Mattiace (69) and Roland Thatcher (71) shared fourth place at 6- under.
Goggin opened his day with a birdie at the first before briefly losing his lead to Thatcher with a double bogey at the third.
He quickly atoned for that misstep with birdies at the fourth and fifth, but a bogey at the ninth brought him back into a tie with Thatcher, who entered Sunday tied with Foley for second place, at minus-8 after Thatcher's birdie at the 10th.
Both players dropped out of the top spot on the next hole, however, as Thatcher recorded a double bogey and Goggin stumbled to a 3-over-par seven at the par-4 11th.
Their struggles at the 11th caused Foley to take sole possession of the lead with his steady play, as he recorded a pair of birdies -- at the fourth and seventh -- and 12 pars through 14 holes.
Foley then snapped a streak of seven straight pars with a birdie at the 15th to pull two strokes ahead of Goggin, but Foley slipped to a bogey at the 16th while Goggin poured in back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th to put the players in a tie for the lead at 7-under.
"I told my caddie after that triple that it wasn't over," said Goggin. "I figured it was going to be whoever played the last seven holes the best."
Thatcher, meanwhile, fell out of contention with a double bogey at the 11th to go along with consecutive bogeys at the 14th and 15th.
After Foley and Goggin traded pars at the 17th, Foley hit his approach to 15 feet at the 18th and converted on the decisive putt attempt to jump ahead.
Goggin followed right behind with a chance to force a playoff, but his second shot found its way into a bunker and he could not hole it from the sand, handing the victory to Foley.
"I knew it was going to be a shootout today because there were a bunch of guys lined up to start the day," Foley said. "It wasn't the windiest day, but with tough pin positions and the course getting firmer, I knew I just had to play smart and steady all day."
NOTES: Foley had not finished higher than fifth in his 17 previous starts ... Goggin won this event in 2011 ... Morgan Hoffmann withdrew prior to the start of the final round due to a stomach illness ... The Web.com Tour heads to South America next week for the Colombia Championship at Bogota Country Club, which Skip Kendall won last year with a 1-stroke victory over Andres Gonzales and Andrew Svoboda.
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