Levin Still Chasing Elusive 1st PGA Tour Win

June 3, 2012

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In Dublin Ohio, if you’re going to lose a final-round lead at a PGA event, it might as well be to Tiger Woods.

Former University of New Mexico golfer Spencer Levin started Sunday’s fourth round of the Memorial Tournament at  8 under par with a one-stroke lead over Rory Sabbatini and four shots better than Woods. Levin, however, struggled on the back nine for a 3-over-75 on the day, a 5-under 283 for the tournament and a four-stroke deficit to Woods, who won for the 73rd time in his PGA career to tie Jack Nicklaus.

Woods shot a 5-under 67 and finished with a 9-under 279. Sabbatini and Andres Romero tied for second at 7-under, and Levin tied Daniel Summerhays for fourth.

For Levin, who played two seasons at UNM (2003-04 and 2004-05), it was another learning experience in trying to claim his first PGA Tour victory and ascending the ladder to become one of the best golfers in the world.

Levin lost a six-stroke lead at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix in February, but also shot a final-round 75 and finished runner-up to Kyle Stanley.

On Sunday, the former Lobo All-American birdied his first hole and followed with eight consecutive pars. But he shot a 4-over 40 on the back nine that included one birdie, three bogeys and a double-bogey.

"I don’t know," Levin told the PGATour.com. "I just got to find a way to get a little tougher there on the back nine. That’s it. I’ve just got to find a way to trust myself a little more. The mind starts wandering, and it’s easy to do. I tried my hardest obviously … just got to drive it better. That’s the bottom line. Today if I would have drove it well on the back nine, I would have had a chance to win."

According to PGATour.com, Levin led the field in strokes gained-putting and putts per round while finishing second in putts per green in regulation.

Levin’s world ranking improved from No. 35 in the world to No. 27 after the event. Levin, who transferred to UNM his junior season, had four individual victories for the Lobos, including three his senior year from 2004-05.