LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Jose Coceres of Argentina claimed his second career PGA Tour title Sunday, holding off Davis Love III at the National Car Rental Golf Classic.
Coceres proved his April victory at Hilton Head was no fluke, overcoming a shaky front nine en route to a 4-under-par 68. His 72-hole total of 23-under 265 left him one in front of Love.
Love, battling a disk problem in his neck, came up just short of his second victory this season, making a birdie at the 18th hole after a 20-minute rain delay.
Tee times were bumped up several hours to avoid expected rain in the Orlando area.
Even a pairing with one of the world's best players could not shake Coceres, who has missed the cut in seven of 18 starts this season.
He is one of only three South Americans to win a PGA Tour event, joining countryman Roberto de Vicenzo and contemporary Carlos Franco of Paraguay.
The 38-year-old Coceres took control with three straight birdies beginning at the ninth and led by at least two shots until Love's closing birdie. Love moved within within two shots with a birdie at the 15th.
Coceres, who grew up in a two-room house with 10 siblings, earned the $612,000 to jump from 56th to 33rd on the money list with nearly $1.5 million. This is his first full season on the PGA Tour.
A strong showing at next week's Buick Challenge could help Coceres get into the Tour Championship, which invites the top 30 players on the money list.
That would be a surprise, but Coceres' ability to perform under pressure on Sunday was not. He fought off veteran Billy Mayfair in a five-hole playoff at the Worldcom Classic in April.
A host of others made runs Sunday. Jerry Smith had the clubhouse lead after shooting an early 63 to reach 20-under 268.
Playing in his backyard, world No. 1 Tiger Woods tied for 16th at 272 in his first action in six weeks. He had four rounds in the 60s and still finished seven shots behind Coceres.