Former Stanford golfer Alex Aragon took the long route to his first Nationwide Tour victory.
Aragon, 33, who turned pro in 2001, collected the top prize of $108,000 at the TPC Stonebrae Championship in Hayward on Sunday with a 72-hole score of 10-under 270.
He closed with a 4-under 66 to prevail by one shot over Matt Harmon, Duffy Waldorf, and Paul Haley II.
"I'm trying to keep it all in perspective," Aragon said. "It's a major step. I'm proud of myself for doing it. I'm not surprised. I felt like I played to win. I felt like I've prepared my whole life to win golf tournaments at this level and the next level."
Mother Nature finally smiled on the weather-beaten tournament as bright sunny skies allowed for low scoring, even though competitors endured a 2½-hour fog delay in the morning.
Harmon surged into contention with a course-record-tying 9-under 61, with 10 birdies and one bogey. The weather changed dramatically over the weekend after a bitterly cold and wet Friday.
"The memory I have is that I wore a turtleneck, a golf shirt, a sweater and a raincoat the whole time," Harmon said of the conditions. "Never took it off. Rain pants, two pairs of socks. We were shivering all day."
Because of all the delays, executive tournament director Ian Jones said Sunday he's looking to move the event to a date after May but keeping the same location.
"You just do the best you can," he said. "Mother Nature is Mother
The road to victory was full of potholes for Aragon, who played sparingly in 2010 and 2011 before surging this season to No. 4 on the tour's money list. He said he thought about quitting every year after turning pro.
Now he strides confidently toward his goal of a top-25 finish on the money list and a PGA Tour card. He played on the PGA Tour in 2006 but struggled, feeling like a "fish out of water," he said.
Perhaps a mixed-up tournament, weather-wise, was a perfect fit for Aragon. In 2010 he steered clear of the mini-tour events, where he'd enjoyed success, and practiced mostly at his home course, La Costa Resort in San Diego.
He has thrived as a Monday qualifier on the PGA Tour but his mind has never been quite right.
"It's tough when you get into a tournament and you don't know if you're going to play again in the coming weeks," Aragon said. "So when your ball plugs in the bunker or you get a bad bounce it's harder to shake those off."
In wild weather Thursday, Aragon snuck in 18 holes. He completed no holes Friday, another tumultuous day in which fog and a heavily saturated course forced a four-hour delay to start the round. When the horn sounded to suspend play because of darkness, he'd hit just one shot.
Then he played 33 holes on Saturday and 21 more on Sunday. Not your average golf tournament experience, for sure.
Russell Knox, who tied for second last year, had the shot of the day with a hole-in-one on the par-3 fourth hole and wound up tied for seventh at 273.