Oswego native David Branshaw had his best finish of the Nationwide Tour pro golf season Sunday when he forced a three-way playoff at the Chattanooga Classic.
Branshaw was near the top of the leaderboard throughout the event and could have won the event outright if not for a three-bogey performance on the final day. Branshaw had only two bogeys in the prior 54 holes.
He played sparking golf for four days, though, driving for both length and accuracy and needing among the fewest putts to finish holes.
Branshaw sunk a birdie on the 18th hole, where he had had two prior birdies and an eagle, to draw into a three-way tie with rookie Scott Gardiner and Joe Affrunti, according to the PGA.
Branshaw fell out on the first extra hole, however. He made par while the other men scored birdies. Gardiner won it for his first tournament victory on the fourth extra hole.
The second place finish is Branshaw’s best of the year and his first of the year in the top 10. He earned $44,000 for the weekend, bringing his total for the year to $126,129.
The main point of the Nationwide Tour is to give the top performers a chance at the pro golf tour. The top 25 money winners receive a PGA tour card for the following year.
Branshaw’s strong finish vaulted him to 43rd position, a jump of nearly 30 places from where he was before the weekend began.
There are only two Nationwide Tour events left for Branshaw to try to reach the top 25.
He fell off the PGA tour after the 2007 season. In 2008, he finished an agonizing 26th on the Nationwide Tour money list, falling out of the top 25 on the final day of the season. Last year, he finished 41st on the Nationwide Tour.
This year, he has made the cut 12 times but missed the cut 10 times.
His next payday will push him over the $1 million mark in earnings on the Nationwide Tour. He’s 20th in all time earnings on the tour. He earned more than $1.3 million on the PGA Tour.