Someone who’s known Nate Lashley since the newest winner on the PGA Tour was just a kid in the Nebraska Panhandle said Sunday the real story isn’t about personal tragedy or crazy circumstances.

“The story,” former PGA Tour golfer Jeff Klein said from Scottsbluff, “was the comeback of his golf game.”

“He quit. Sold real estate. But he hung there and got better and better. Who knows what he’s going to do now? You have to be real confident to win by six. I hope it boosts his confidence more, and he does some good things.”

Lashley became only the fourth native Nebraskan — three pros and amateur Johnny Goodman — to win a PGA Tour-recognized event. Armed with a six-stroke lead, the Scottsbluff native and Mitchell High graduate stayed steady in the final round of the new Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. A four-birdie, two-bogey 70 produced a 25-under 263 total and a six-stroke victory over Doc Redman.

“Just amazing,’’ said Klein, whose year on the PGA Tour came at 44 — 10 years later than Lashley’s debut last season. “He doesn’t just sneak in there. He just blasted the field.”

Lashley had a horrific, life-changing moment 15 years ago, the plane crash that killed parents Rod and Char Lashley and girlfriend Leslie Hofmeister and left him and older sister Brooke on their own. In interviews Sunday, he said (understandably) that it took him a lot of years to recover, and it held back his career for a long time.

Since it can’t erase that heartbreak and void — he said his thoughts drifted there, including the walk to his second shot on 18 — isn’t it better to call Sunday’s win a career-changing moment?

It starts with job security. He has tour membership through the end of the 2020-21 season. No worries about Monday qualifying or looking at alternate lists.

And the perks. It’s good he was on the PGA Tour’s Latin America circuit, where three wins in 2016 jump-started his career, because he’ll need that passport in two weeks to play in the British Open at Royal Portrush. He’s never been to Europe.

Also going on his 2019-20 schedule are the Sony Tournament of Champions in January, the Players in March and the PGA in May. And, yes, his first trip down Magnolia Lane for the 2020 Masters in April.

“It’s something everybody dreams of, just playing the course let alone the tournament,’’ he told Amanda Balionis of CBS moments after tapping in his par putt on the final hole — and fumbling the ball picking it out of the cup. Try it when you’re choking up from the rush of emotions.

On hand was TV golf’s best storyteller — Jim Nantz — which is not a guarantee on CBS summer golf coverage. He and analyst Nick Faldo obviously had plenty of material to work with, including how Lashley stuck around town after missing out on Monday qualifying and was the last man in the field as the third alternate.

No one wants to see a six-stroke lead blown, a la the Greg Norman collapse at the 1996 Masters in front of Nantz on TV and Faldo as its beneficiary. When that possibility dissipated, partly with Lashley’s two birdies in the first three holes and no one coming within five strokes when he finally made bogeys for the first time since Friday, those two in the 18th tower and the rest of the on-air talent were pulling for the good story. Cameras found Brooke Lashley and Ashlie Reed, Nate’s girlfriend from Minnesota, get emotional watching the finish.

“There’s a man who’s slightly in shock,’’ Faldo said after Lashley’s interview on the 18th green.

Some other tidbits surrounding this win that pumps up Nebraska golf history:

» Lashley’s first-place check of $1.314 million is about $3,000 more than Tom Sieckmann won in his career.

Sieckmann is the only other pro who was a Nebraska high school graduate (Mark Calcavecchia was in Florida after age 12) to win on tour. He cashed $108,000 for winning the 1988 Anheuser-Busch Classic in a playoff.

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» More numbers.

Lashley jumped from 132nd to 40th in the FedEx Cup standings. No longer worried about being in the top 125 at season’s end, he said his goal has shifted to being among the top 30 who play for the Tour Championship in August in Atlanta.

He’s won $1.855 million this season and $2.152 million in 32 tour starts over two seasons.

» About that time away from competitive golf. Lashley said it amounted to three or four months. He went back to selling real estate — he got his license a couple of years out of college, “but I’ve used it more than you think” when asked Sunday how many houses he’s sold.

The last word comes from the pride of the Panhandle: “Nothing quite has sunk in yet.”

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