Brian Gay won his first U.S. PGA Tour title since 2009 by making a five-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff at golf’s Humana Challenge.
Gay’s winning putt came after Charles Howell III made a bogey on the par-4 10th hole at the PGA West’s Palmer Course in La Quinta, California. PGA Tour rookie David Lingmerth of Sweden was eliminated on the first hole of the three-man playoff when he hit his second shot into a water hazard.
Gay, 41, receives $1 million for his fourth PGA Tour win and first since the 2009 St. Jude Classic. He entered the final round six strokes off the lead and birdied nine of his first 13 holes en route to a 9-under-par 63.
“I played great on the front, just tried to stay aggressive and shoot low,” Gay said at a news conference. “I wasn’t watching the scoreboards, so I didn’t really know. I was just trying to stay focused and make birdies.”
Gay, Howell and Lingmerth tied at 25-under 263 through four rounds, one shot better than Scott Stallings and James Hahn. Stallings entered the final round with a five-shot lead and closed with a 70, the only player in the top 26 to fail to shoot in the 60s. He bogeyed the par-5 18th hole with a chance to get in the playoff.
“Coming down the stretch on the 72nd hole, you can’t make mistakes like that,” said Stallings, who made three bogeys in the final round after having none over the first 54 holes. “It stinks, but it’s something that I’ll definitely learn from.”
The PGA Tour next moves to Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, for the $6.1 million Farmers Insurance Open, which is scheduled for Jan. 24-27.