It is the 24-year-old's first professional victory.
The 2020 LECOM Suncoast Classic, held at Lakewood National Golf Club, saw no golfer take a commanding lead all week.
The final day was no exception, featuring a roller coaster of a leaderboard and constant pressure on those navigating it. Six golfers held a share of the lead at some point on Sunday, and the man who won only grabbed a solo lead on a final 10-foot putt, which he capped with a pump of his fist and a victory holler.
Andrew Novak, a 24-year-old originally from Raleigh, N.C., won the tournament with a birdie on the 18th hole to finish 23 under par, one stroke better than John Chin, who parred the final hole. Novak shot six under par on the final day, with seven birdies and one bogey. It is Novak's first win as a professional golfer. Novak has been on the Korn Ferry Tour since 2018. He took home a trophy and $108,000, in addition to taking a big step in getting his PGA Tour card.
"This is awesome," Novak said. "I honestly can only remember half of what has happened in the last 30 minutes, but this is crazy.
"I like playing in front of people. I like crowds. This was the perfect stadium feel for me. I like making people cheer. The crowd gave me a big ovation as I was walking to the (18th) green. I definitely felt the love."
Novak's 2020 Suncoast Classic performance was much better than his 2019 performance, when he shot eight over par and missed the cut. Despite the poor results, Novak said, he liked the course and thought it matched with his strengths; he just was off his game. Novak said he was feeling good about his game after finishing tied for ninth in last week's Country Club de Bogota Championship, and a few practice rounds at Lakewood National reminded him of the potential opportunity the course provided him.
"There are a lot of holes you can get, but you have to be smart about it," Novak said. "There might be an easy birdie hole (for example), but if you're left of the hole, you're not going to get it. You have to think your way around it, think one or two shots ahead. 'Where do I want to be to attack this hole?' or 'Where can I make a birdie?' Or even par. On this course, there's three or four holes where par is a great score."
Chin, playing in the group in front of Novak, tied third-place Taylor Montgomery (21 under par) for the best individual round of the day, shooting eight under par, but missed a birdie opportunity on 18 that would have in hindsight forced a playoff. Behind Montgomery, David Kocher, Chandler Blanchet and Greyson Sigg tied for fourth at 20 under par.
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