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Conner Godsey comes from behind for a playoff win in Ecuador

Former UNA standout Conner Godsey made a playoff birdie on No. 18 to come from behind and win the Banco del Pacífico Open Sunday.
Credit: PGA

After firing a final-round-low, 7-under 65 to charge into a tie for first with 54-hole leader Drew Nesbitt, Conner Godsey made a playoff birdie on No. 18 to come from behind and win the Banco del Pacífico Open Sunday. The Jacksonville, Florida, resident and Alabama native had entered the day trailing by six, in a tie for ninth.

Playing three groups ahead of Nesbitt, who saw a four-shot lead evaporate by the end of the front nine, Godsey locked the clubhouse lead at 17-under 271, leaving a birdie putt an inch short at the last. His lead at the time was at two shots, but Nesbitt closed birdie-birdie, making a 15-footer at the 72nd hole to give himself another chance in overtime.

The playoff took the duo back to the tee at the 414-yard par-4 18th, where Godsey hit 4-iron, as he did all week. Nesbitt hit driver. The Canadian knocked his approach short into a green-side bunker and then failed to hole out on his birdie try.

“I was in the right rough, had 185 yards and with the adrenaline I went for a pitching wedge full and flagged it right at it,” said Godsey, who hit his approach shot within 10 feet and made the birdie putt for the win.

The victory was his first in a season of close calls on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, where he had tied for third, tied for sixth, finished solo third and solo 15th in his last four starts.

“I have been playing well all year. I just kept knocking on the door, feeling like it was eventually going to open and that’s what I did this weekend, I got it done,” said the 29-year old.

With the win at Quito Tennis & Golf Club, a perfectly manicured par-72 at almost 10,000 feet above sea level, Godsey moved into the second spot on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Points List, only 167 points behind Tour No. 1 Brandon Matthews with only one tournament left to play this season. 

“I’m going to try to keep it going in Mexico and see how high we can get,” said Godsey, still unsure of where the win actually took him in the race to move up to the Korn Ferry Tour.

Jacob Bergeron was at 17-under with three holes to play but recorded a double bogey on 16 and finished par-par to miss his chance of making it into the playoff. At 15-under for the week, he went on tie for third with Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha, who also shot 68 on the final day. Two shots further back, Matthews, Tano Goya and Joseph Winslow tied for fifth.

Did you know Conner Godsey has pretty much locked up his return to the Korn Ferry Tour? He has made 27 career starts at the next level, including 23 during the 2018 season, when he made the cut in 15 starts and finished the season ranked 102nd on the Points List.

Key Information

There’s only one tournament left to play in the extended 2020-21 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season. The closing event will be the Bupa Championship presented by Volvo, at PGA Riviera Maya in Tulum, Mexico, July 22-25.

Born on March 24, 1992, Conner Godsey won the Banco del Pacifico Open at age 29 years, 3 months, 3 days.

This was Conner Godsey’s first victory in 15 career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica starts. His best performances prior to Sunday were a couple of third-place finishes, at the 2020 Puerto Plata Open last December in the Dominican Republic, and at The Club at Weston Hills Open, two weeks ago in Weston, Florida.

Conner Godsey collected 500 points as a tournament winner to increase his season’s point total to 1,003 and rise to No. 2 on the Points List. He trails No. 1 Brandon Matthews by 167 points with one tournament left to play this season.

Quotable

“It feels incredible. Winning anywhere is hard, winning here is hard and winning on this course is hard too. I played some great golf, and it feels incredible to be the champion.”—Conner Godsey

“Going into the day, I had a number of 6-under in mind. I felt that if I could shoot 6-under, I would be pretty happy with how I finish. I made a lot of birdies and just tried to keep it going. (I) ended up shooting 7-under. I didn’t look at the leaderboard all day, but I knew I was up there close. Thankfully got in the playoff and got it done.”—Conner Godsey

“I decided to play (18 in the playoff) the way I played it all week, which was hitting a 4-iron off the tee. I know a lot of guys hit driver there, which if you hit a good driver it makes it a lot easier, because it’s a much shorter shot. I was in the right rough, had 185 yards and with the adrenaline I decided that pitching wedge full and flagged it right at it. Had 10 feet or so for birdie and just kind of stuck to my routine and made the putt.”—Conner Godsey