PGA Tour veteran Brian Gay came through a three-man play-off to win the Humana Challenge on Sunday after a closing 63 earned him a place in extra holes.
Web.com Tour graduate David Lingmerth – who shot a final-round 62 – bowed out at the first play-off hole after finding water with his approach, with Gay and Charles Howell III halving the par 5 in birdie fours.
Howell – who hasn’t won a tournament in six years – pulled his approach into sand on the par-4 10th, and Gay clinched the tournament with a fine birdie after knocking his approach to four feet.
“It was a rollercoaster. When I finished there were four guys on the same score. I thought someone would birdie the 18th but I was fortunate for that not to happen and to have another chance.
“It feels amazing right now. I’m still in a little bit of shock. It kind of happened so fast there at the end the way things went down.”
Gay started the day six shots behind Scott Stallings, who was five clear of the field after a bogey-free 54 holes.
After 13 holes of his final round, Gay was nine-under-par, but it looked like he would come up just short after he parred home to post 25-under-par.
He joined rookie Lingmerth on that score after the Swede notched his tenth birdie of the day on the final hole.
Like Gay, Howell III missed a short putt on the 18th to take the outright lead, meaning a closing birdie for Stallings would be good enough for the title.
But disaster struck for the American from the middle of the fairway. He pulled his approach into the hazard and failed to get up and down, recording a bogey to miss the play-off by one.
Gay’s subsequent win was the fourth of his PGA Tour career and his first since the St. Jude Classic in 2009.
Humana Challenge in Association with the Clinton Foundation
PGA West (Palmer Private and Nicklaus Private), La Quinta Country Club
Jan 17-20, purse $5,600,000, par 72
1) Brian Gay (USA) 67 66 67 63 – 263 $1,008,000
T2) Charles Howell III (USA) 67 65 67 64 – 263 $492,000
T2) David Lingmerth (SWE) 68 64 69 62 – 263 $492,800
T4) James Hahn (USA) 63 67 72 62 – 264 $246,400
T4) Scott Stallings (USA) 66 65 63 70 – 264 $246,400
T6) Nicolas Thompson (USA) 69 66 66 64 – 265 $194,600
T6) Ryan Palmer (USA) 65 69 66 65 – 265 $196,600
T8) Kevin Chappell (USA) 68 69 67 62 – 266 $168,000
T8) Jason Kokrak (USA) 63 69 69 65 – 266 $168,000
*Bold signifies Titleist ball usage.