RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico -- George McNeill birdied the last three holes for a 3-under 69 to move past Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa and win the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com on Sunday.
Ishikawa, on the anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that left his homeland in ruins, closed with a 68 and had a one-shot lead. McNeill caught him with a birdie on the 16th, took the lead with a birdie on the 17th and added another birdie on the par-5 18th.
"I was really nervous, but I knew what I had to do, and basically I just had to bear down and get it done," McNeill said. "If not, then somebody else was going to win. I was trying to basically have control of myself, and that's all I was looking for."
McNeill finished at 16-under 272 and earned $630,000 for his second career victory. He won the 2007 Frys.com Open in Las Vegas as a PGA TOUR rookie.
"I think I was a little dumb, for lack of a better word, in 2007," McNeill said. "I really didn't know any better. I've been out here a while now. It's my sixth year, and I've had six second-place finishes and two playoff losses, and seems like, wow, it's getting harder and harder and harder to win."
"Winning is tough at anything. Doesn't matter playing golf, playing tennis, trying to be the best person, smartest person in the class. It's not easy to be the best even if it's only for one week, and that's why it's tough. And you got to take in golf what you can and move on."