LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – Last man in. Last man standing.
University of Missouri alum Hayden Buckley authored a Cinderella story at this week’s LECOM Suncoast Classic, gaining entry Thursday morning as an alternate – then proceeding to win the tournament.
Buckley, 24, posted a four-round total of 13-under at Lakewood National GC (Commander), then drained a 10-foot birdie on the first playoff hole to outlast Taylor Montgomery and Dawson Armstrong.
With the win, Buckley’s conditional Korn Ferry Tour status is no longer. The native of Tupelo, Mississippi moves to No. 27 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List as he eyes his first PGA TOUR card. He’s fully exempt on the Korn Ferry Tour through 2022, at minimum.
“It was a cold putter,” laughed Buckley while celebrating post-victory with his girlfriend Feleysa and dog Macy. “I know it sounds crazy to win a golf tournament with a cold putter, but it just shows the amount of ball-striking that I had this week. I didn’t make anything today until the end.”
The putter rose to the occasion in the playoff. And now Buckley is a Korn Ferry Tour champion.
Here’s what was in Buckley’s bag this week in west Florida.
Driver: Titleist TSi3, 9 degrees
3-wood: Titleist TS3, 15 degrees
Utility wood: Titleist TS3, 18 degrees
Irons (4-PW): Titleist T100
Wedges (50, 58 degrees): Titleist Vokey SM8
Wedge (54 degrees): Titleist Vokey Wedgeworks (2020 Prototype)
Putter: Odyssey Ten 2-Ball Tour Lined