POTOMAC, Md. (AP) -- Just as his playing partners predicted a few days earlier, Tom Scherrer became the ninth first-time PGA Tour winner at the Kemper Insurance Open.
Scherrer, who didn't lead until the back nine on the final day, closed with a 4-under-par 67 Sunday for a two-stroke victory. He was the only player to shoot sub-70 rounds each day, his 67-68-69-67 effort earning him the $540,000 winner's check.
During Wednesday's pro-am, the amateurs in Scherrer's fivesome reminded him of the Kemper's legacy of producing first-time winners and suggested this might his turn.
Scherrer seemingly was due. The 29-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., native had been playing his best golf lately, with a career-best second-place tie finish in Tucson in February and rounds of 69 and 71 in the Memorial last week before falling back over the weekend.
Steve Lowery, the third-round leader, shot a par 71 and tied for second with Justin Leonard (69), Greg Chalmers (68), Kazuhiko Hosokawa (66) and Franklin Langham (70).
Scherrer joins Fred Couples (1983), Greg Norman (1984), Bill Glasson (1985), Tom Byrum (1989), Billy Andrade (1991), Grant Waite (1993), Steve Stricker (1996) and Rich Beem (1999) as first-time tour winners at the Kemper.
Scherrer first made the tour in 1996, but it lasted just a year when he finished 141st on the money list. After two years on the Buy.com Tour, he regained his card and returned last year.
Scherrer began the day at nine under, trailing Lowery by two strokes. Scherrer made up the deficit with birdies at Nos. 2 and 6 before a disheartening 3-putt from 14 feet gave him a bogey at the turn.
Scherrer recovered immediately, however, hitting a birdie putt from 22 feet at No. 10 and another from 5 feet at No. 11 to take the solo lead for the first time at 12 under.
From there, Scherrer and Lowery went back and forth. Scherrer won by making two nice par saves, while Lowery bogeyed twice down the stretch.
First, Lowery tied Scherrer with a birdie at the 13th, but Scherrer chipped within a foot at the short par-4 14th for a birdie to retake the lead at 13 under. Lowery nearly duplicated the feat moments later, making a short putt to tie Scherrer again.
Scherrer nearly lost the lead when his approach sailed the green at No. 15, but he saved par with a 15-foot putt. He was well in the rough by the trees at the 16th and then put the next shot in the bunker, but again he saved par with nice wedge to 3 feet.
Lowery fell out of the tie when he missed an 8-foot putt for par after landing in the sand at the 15th. The victory was sealed for Scherrer when Lowery's tee shot landed in the water at the par-3 17th.
For a while, it seemed Chalmers would walk away with the tournament. The left-handed Australian birdied four of the first five holes -- he made a 30-foot putt at No. 4 -- to take the lead at 12 under. But he put his tee shot in the water at the par-3 9th and moved back into a four-way tie for the lead with Lowery, Scherrer and Leonard.
Leonard had an 11-foot birdie putt at No. 9 and also birdied No. 11 to hold the lead by himself at 12 under, but it lasted only one hole. He pulled his tee shot into the rough at the difficult 12th for a double-bogey.
An impressive run was made by Hosokawa, who started the day five strokes off the lead at 6 under. Hosokawa had four birdies on the back nine and nearly made a 15-foot birdie putt at the 17th that would have tied him for the lead. He also came within an inch of holing from the rough at 18, finishing a 31 on the back nine.
Another gorgeous day -- Friday was the only unbearably humid day this year -- made conditions good for a course that usually doesn't yield many birdies. Michael Clark II, one of the early starters, tied a tournament record Sunday with an 8-under 63.
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