July 22, 2012

Stallings claims his second PGA Tour title; wins True South Classic


MADISON, Miss. -- Tough call on which was more impressive -- Scott Stallings' brilliant play and clutch shots to win the True South Classic, or the grace and humility he showed in the nationally televised, post-round interview.

The former Tennessee Tech All-American accepted congratulations for his victory, then put things into perspective when he announced that he and his wife, Jennifer, are expecting their first child in February.

"That's really what's important," he said. "That helps to put all of this in perspective."

Shooting a tournament-record 24-under-par, Stallings captured the True South Classic championship Sunday at Annandale Golf Club, his second career PGA Tour win.

The 27-year-old Stallings shot a 4-under 68 in the final round on Sunday to win the championship. A year ago, the 2007 Tech graduate claimed the Greenbrier Classic as a rookie for his first tour title.

Jason Bohn shot a 5-under 67 to finish second, two strokes back. Billy Horschel was alone in third at four strokes back.

Stallings jumped on top of the leaderboard by shooting back-to-back 64s in the second and third rounds, with the third round spanning two days after being postponed because of darkness late Saturday night. On Sunday, nursing a one-shot lead late in the round, he stuck approach shots and scored birdies on both 16 and 17 to allow him to pull away for the victory.

"Obviously, it's a special week," Stallings said. "Anytime you win on the PGA Tour it's special. A lot of things and people went into winning this tournament and I'm very thankful."

Stallings was one of the tour's best rookies last season, but has struggled because of injuries this season until blazing through Annandale.

(Interesting note: The True South Classic is the only professional sporting event held in the state of Mississippi, so Stallings will hold the torch as the state's reining champion until next year's tourney).

Because of rain delays, Stallings slept on a four-shot advantage Saturday night after 10 holes of the third round. He finished that round Sunday morning and owned a slim, one-shot advantage after 54 holes.

The former Golden Eagle never relinquished his lead in Round 4 Sunday.

After making his first bogey since Round 1 on the 14th hole, allowing Jason Bohn to close within one shot, Stallings birdied holes 16 and 17 before parring the 18th to secure his victory.

Scott Stallings gets a hug from his wife,
Jennifer, after winning the Greenbrier
Classic last year

Stallings’ victory and its accompanying 250 FedExCup points may be enough to put the 27-year-old into the FedExCup Playoffs for the second consecutive year. He projects to move from No. 163 in the standings to well inside the top 125.

With the victory, Scott:

• Collects 250 points and moves from No. 163 into No. 95 in the FedExCup standings.

• Sets the tournament scoring record at Annadale GC with a 264 (-24). The old tournament record, since the move to Annandale in 1994, was 266 held by Chris Kirk/2011, Fred Funk/2004, Steve Lowery/2000 and Skip Kendall/2000.

• Becomes the first member of the 2011 rookie class to win in consecutive seasons. He was one of six rookie winners a year ago.

• Secures the 10th victory for 54-hole leaders in 30 events this season.

• Records his first top-10 finish since winning last year’s Greenbrier Classic. Stallings tore cartilage in five ribs in his third start of the season at the Humana Challenge and had missed 11 cuts in 15 starts since.

This victory is Stallings’ second in 47 career starts on the PGA TOUR. Here’s a list of his victories:

2011: The Greenbrier Classic
2012: True South Classic