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Mazziotta excels on a windy final day to win by four

The 25-year old from Fort Myers, Florida carded a best of the final round 68 to win his first NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica title by four shots

Maziotta and his trophy after a solid win at the Yucatan Country Club. Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR

Merida, Yucatan, Mexico (April 6, 2014) – Daniel Mazziotta of Fort Myers, Florida had a performance as strong as anybody could have had in tough windy conditions to win the Mundo Maya Open presented by Heineken.

Making just his fourth career start on NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and trailing by two at the beginning of the day, Mazziotta ended up winning by four shots at the Yucatan Country Club’s El Jaguar Golf Course.

His best of the day 4-under 68 secured a winning total of 10-under 278. His margin of victory was extended late over a group of six players who finished in a tie for the second spot.

“I think that it was a little bit closer than four shots. I think the guys may have made some mistakes on the last two holes,” said the 25-year old champion about a margin of victory that took him by surprise.

“When I saw it was windy I was pleased. I like playing in the wind. I feel that you have to play really good golf and it kind of keeps me in the moment, because you have to”, added the first U.S. player to win this season on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.

Playing on the antepenultimate twosome and after making a birdie on 4 and a bogey on 6, Mazziotta moved ahead of the pack with a stretch of one eagle and two birdies between 8 and 11.

“I wanted birdie on 8, but the eagle was a bonus and then the birdie on 9 was even more of a bonus. Turning at 9-under put me in a position of advantage,” he said about a key moment on his Sunday performance.

He survived the intimidating closing stretch between 15 and 18 shooting par, with a bogey on 15 and a birdie on 16. “Birdieing 16 really felt good. It gave some confidence going into the last two holes,” he said.

The victory at El Jaguar’s 7,334-yard par-72, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, moved Mazziotta into the second spot of the Tour’s Order of Merit.

“(This win) represents a lot of hard work and a lot of help from family and friends. Hopefully, it represents good things to come,” finished the champion looking forward to the rest of the season on a Tour that will award its top 5 players – ‘Los Cinco’ – with Web.com Tour status in 2015.

Four strokes behind Mazziotta, the second place was shared by Mexico’s Rodolfo Cazaubón , who closed with a 72, Canada’s Peter Campbell, 71, and the USA’s Robert Rohanna, 70, Brian Bigley, 71, Rick Cochran III, 73, and 54-hole leader Brad Hopfinger, 74. For Cochran, who held the 36-hole lead by one, this was his third finish in a tie for second this season.

NOTES:

Watch an interview with the champion: Daniel Mazziotta

Watch Final Round Highlights: Mundo Maya Open

Weather. Sunny and partially cloudy. A high of 99 degrees. Winds SE at 20-30 mph. It was the windiest day of the tournament.

Hole-in-One. Brian Bigley, one of six players who shared runner-up honors, got in contention thanks to a birdie on 11 and a hole-in-one at the par-three No. 12. “I got lucky,” he said with a big smile about an ace he made with a hybrid.

Best round of the day: 68 (-4) Daniel Mazziotta, USA

Bogey-free rounds: None

Next Tournament. The NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica takes a one-week break before heading to Cordoba, Argentina. The next event on the schedule will be the 83rd Abierto OSDE del Centro presented by FiberCorp, to be played at the Cordoba Golf Club, April 14-20.

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