August 20, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Talor Gooch rallied to win the News Sentinel Open on Sunday to wrap up a PGA Tour card for next season with his first Tour victory.

Five strokes back entering the day, Gooch closed with a 6-under 65 at Fox Den for a one-stroke victory over Jonathan Hodge.

Gooch earned $99,000 to jump from 20th to third on the money list with $271,316. The top 25 after the Portland Open next week will earn PGA Tour cards.

''It's everything you've ever dreamed about,'' said Gooch, the 25-year-old former Oklahoma State player. ''This is as much about my family, my friends, Kelsey (Cline), my coach and so many people along the way that have helped. This is a culmination of everything right now.''

Gooch finished at 18-under 266. He hit 17 of 18 greens in regultion.

''It was a really easy round to be honest,'' Gooch said. ''The toughest part of the day was I had about a 50-footer on the par-3 16th, and I left it about 6 feet short for par, but outside of that everything was pretty close and pretty easy. That's the type of round you wish you could have a lot more often.''

He won a week after finishing second in Springfield, Missouri.

Hodge closed with a 66. His chip from the greenside rough to force a playoff on 18 came up just short.

''That chip on 18 was in the really thick rough, but it was a decent lie and a decent chance and had a shot,'' Hodge said. ''I would have liked it to hit it harder, but I can't complain. I'm super happy with how I played all week.''

The Knoxville native, moved up to No. 34 on the money list.

Keith Mitchell was third at 16 under after a 67.

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