JOPLIN, Mo. - Blaine Peffley had a heck of a father's day present for his dad - his first professional golf win.
Peffley shot a 5-under par 66 during Sunday's final round of the Loma Linda Classic. He scored a three-stroke victory over former Oklahoma Sooner Martin Flores.
“I want to get dad a really nice gift - then send some to my investors who got me out here on the tour,” Peffley said. “A call to dad will be my first phone call when I get done here.”
Peffley turned pro in April, leaving the University of Maryland 15 hours shy of his degree.
He finished third last week at Bentonville, Ark., then had rounds of 66, 66, 69 and 66 for a four-day total of 17-under par 267 over the 6,628-yard, par 71 North Course here.
“I am happy I did it - I am headed in the right direction,” Peffley said. “It was difficult to give up a college education. I know how important that is in today's world, but I think golf is my thing.”
Flores closed with a 6-under par 65 Sunday and finished the tournament at 14-under 270.
David Miller, Donald Carpenter III and Rob Johnson finished in a tie for third place at 13-under par 271, four strokes behind Peffley.
Peffley thought the key hole on Sunday was the par 3 No. 4 while playing into the wind.
“I missed birdie putts on 1 and 2 that were very makeable,” he said. “I stayed calm. I got up on No. 4, made a great swing with a 4-iron, hit it to within 3 feet then made a birdie. Ever since then, I didn't look back.”
Peffley didn't let a 55-minute delay for a thunderstorm cause problems. In fact, it might have helped.
“I am just glad they blew it (a lightning alarm that cleared the course) before I had to hit my shot on the 16th hole because it was blowing about 20 to 30 mph downwind - I didn't know what wood to hit there,” Peffley said. “It gave me a chance to regroup.”
His drive landed less than a foot from the hole, and he tapped in a putt for a birdie-2.
“A little 9-iron played perfect for me,” Peffley said. “My caddy didn't want me to hit it on that line, but I sure was going to. Luckily, it was only a foot from the hole.”
Brad Risenhoover, cousin of Miami High School head football coach Chris Risenhoover, finished in a five-way tie for 15th.
As a result, he won't have to qualify for this week's Buffalo Run Casino Classic.
Peffley collected $33,566 with his first win, while Flores pocketed $16,639 for his third runner-up finish of the season.
With their finishes here, Flores moves to No. 2 and Peffley is up to third on the money list with $61,801.50 and $59,782.52, respectively.
Peffley and Flores also are entered in the Buffalo Run Casino Classic that begins Thursday at Peoria Ridge Golf Course.