POTOMAC, Md. (AP) -- Frank Lickliter paused before answering the question, his eyes suddenly introspective as he seemed to replay locker room repartee in his head.
The query: Is there is a difference in golfers' minds between players who have won on the PGA Tour and those who haven't.
"Yeah, there's a small difference. There's a difference," he finally said.
After another pause, he added: "There's a bigger difference in guys that have won once and guys that have won lots of times."
Lickliter went from one group to the other, though is still a long way from the third, with his one-stroke victory at the rain-delayed Kemper Insurance Open on Monday. He became the third consecutive first-time tour winner at the Kemper, and the 10th first-time winner since the event moved to the Washington area in 1980.
"It took me longer than I thought to get a win," said Lickliter, victorious in his 168th start as a professional on the tour. "It's awesome."
Lickliter battled another first-time aspirant, J.J. Henry, down the stretch, but the lack of a tour victory was about the only thing the two golfers had in common.
Lickliter, 31, had been around long enough and had made enough money -- more than $3.5 million -- before the Kemper that he sometimes already seemed like a member of the winners' club. He already had four top-10 finishes this year, including a heartbreaking second to Phil Mickelson in a playoff at the Buick Invitational. He's been bear-hunting with Fuzzy Zoeller in Alaska.
Henry, 26, is a baby-faced tour rookie who had never finished in the top 25 of a tournament. He spent the week before the Kemper playing a Buy.com Tour event because he couldn't get into the Colonial. Everything seemed new to him this weekend, especially when a television camera followed his every move at the driving range in case there was a playoff.
Lickliter is an established member of the tour. Henry knew he had to make a move soon if he were to stay in the tour beyond this year.
"I made a couple of mistakes here and there," Henry said. "I was a little nervous. Something I can build on for the future. Obviously, I was trying to win the tournament, but at the same time in the back of my mind it was, worst case, trying to lock up my card for next year."
Lickliter and Henry were tied at 16-under when play resumed Monday morning with both golfers on the back nine. Lickliter played like a seasoned veteran, making two birdies, while Henry had a quick bogey to fall three strokes behind.
But Lickliter nearly collapsed, bogeying 16 with a drive in the rough and 17 after missing a 4-foot putt for par. Then his approach at 18 missed the green, evoking memories of the playoff loss to Mickelson when he three-putted from 12 feet to triple-bogey the final hole.
Left with an 8-foot par putt to win, Lickliter froze the nerves and sank it.
"Just get totally back into the moment," Lickliter said. "And, for some reason, I did it extremely well right there. Even after everything that had happened the last half-hour, I had no thoughts except reading the putt and making it."
The Kemper has produced so many first-time winners that the questions become standard, but Lickliter didn't have standard answers. He didn't have any particular plans for the money, probably because he's already made a bundle. He'll get a two-year tour exemption, but he was playing well enough that he probably didn't need it, so no great change there.
But he is something he wasn't before: a PGA Tour tournament champion.
"It's finally here," he said. "It's sweet."
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