Former Wildcat Golfer Watkins Cards First Professional Win
TUCSON, Ariz. - Former Wildcat golfer Aaron Watkins, who completed his eligibility at Kansas State in May, captured his first professional victory Tuesday, winning the Southern Arizona Open at the Randolph Golf Complex.
Watkins, a native of Mesa, Ariz., fired a scalding 13-under par total of 197 during the three-round event to edge Rich Barcelo by one stroke.
Jeff Kern, father of current Wildcat Ben Kern, finished up at 5-under par 205 to claim seventh place.
Watkins, an All-Big 12 Conference selection in 2003 and 2004, carded a 3-under 67 during the first round of play before putting himself in contention for the win with a blistering 7-under 63 in round two.
His final-round 67 was good enough to hold off Barcelo, who carded a 4-under 66 on the final day. Barcelo played full time on the PGA Tour in 2004 and the Nationwide Tour in 1999, 2002 and 2003.
The victory earned Watkins the $15,000 first prize and a spot in the 2005 PGA Chrysler Classic of Tucson, Feb. 21-27.
For complete results, please visit the PGA Southwest Section website at http://southwest.pga.com.