JAMES NITTIES has broken through for his maiden victory in the US with an emphatic five stroke victory at the Midwest Classic in Overland Park, Kansas.
Nitties fired seven birdies in a six-under par 65 final round to be 26 under for the tournament.
Fellow Newcastle golfer Nick Flanagan tied second with Sweden’s Jonas Blixt after the Australian bogeyed the last and finished with a 68.
Nitties is back on the secondary Nationwide Tour after losing his main tour card last year but could be set for a swift return with this win lifting him from 63rd to 12 on the money list. The top 25 at the end of the season get US PGA Tour Cards.
Nitties has often shown huge promise in his career but has been hamstrung by a mystery illness that has now been diagnosed as Reactive Athritis.
Appleby fades in North Carolina
Meanwhile American golfer Webb Simpson has won the US PGA Tour event in his native North Carolina.
Simpson took out the 2011 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro by three strokes after a 3-under par 67.
His 18-under total was three ahead of George McNeill (64) with Tommy Gainey a further stroke back.
Aron Price (65) tied for 17th to be the best-placed Australian after Stuart Appleby failed to continue with the blistering pace he set in the first round with his new broomstick putter. Appleby finished with rounds of 64, 67, 70 and 71.
Fiji’s Vijay Singh and Jerry Kelly both shot 65s to be in a group sharing fourth on 267. They were joined by North Carolina-based Swede Carl Pettersson (69), South Korean Kyung-tae Kim (66) and Charles Howell (67).
Ernie Els and Padriag Harrington both did well enough to scrape into top 125 in the final season standings and will play in the first playoff event, The Barclays, this week in New Jersey.