Bet­ten­court slips by Heintz at Reno-Ta­hoe

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Scott Sonner

RENO, Nev. — Matt Bet­ten­court will play in the PGA Cham­pi­onship for the first time thanks to an ex­cel­lent ea­gle, pris­tine putting and a cad­die who kept him calm.

That he shot 1-over on the back nine just made it dra­matic when Bob Heintz missed a three-foot putt on No. 18 that would have forced a play­off in the Reno-Ta­hoe Open.

In­stead, Bet­ten­court won for the first time on tour, shoot­ing a 4-un­der 68 on Sun­day that earned him a $540,000 check and an in­vite to Whistling Straits next month.

“I made some great up and downs,” Bet­ten­court said. “I feel like I’m as good of a bunker player as any­body in the world.”

Af­ter Bet­ten­court’s ea­gle on the par-5 11th, he closed with a birdie and two bo­geys, in­clud­ing on No. 18. He also bo­geyed the par-4 14th at Mon­treux Golf & Coun­try Club.

The best put­ter at Reno all week, Bet­ten­court had 12 one-putts and only 24 to­tal on Sun­day. Bet­ten­court said a lot of the credit for keep­ing him calm went to Matthew Achatz, his cad­die on loan from Rocco Me­di­ate while Me­di­ate was work­ing as an an­a­lyst at the Bri­tish Open.

“Thank you, Rocco, for let­ting me use him,” Bet­ten­court said. “He made me be­lieve in my­self.”

Heintz, who shot a 69 Sun­day, started the week try­ing to qual­ify for a Na­tion­wide Tour event in Ohio be­fore he was no­ti­fied he’d qual­i­fied for Reno and hopped a plane to Ne­vada on Tues­day.

“You hate to see some­body miss one like that at the end but at the same time I played well enough all week to win,” Bet­ten­court said. “I’m just so ex­cited, I’ll take it any way you can.”

Heintz, a 40-year-old grad­u­ate of Yale with a de­gree in eco­nom­ics, was pleased to come away with $324,000 for fin­ish­ing sec­ond.

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