Bryce Molder claimed his first PGA Tour victory at the Frys.com Open at Cordevalle GC, California. The American came through a six-hole playoff against countryman Briny Baird.
In regulation play, Baird looked the likely winner when he chipped in for an eagle from just short of the 17th green. But, moments later, Molder holed a birdie effort on the final green to close with a 64 and finish on a four-round total of -17. Baird could only match that number and a playoff ensued.
The players went back to the driveable 17th and played it and the 18th three more times each before a winner was finally found.
Three times at the driveable 17th Molder left himself eagle opportunities but each one narrowly missed the hole and Baird was able to match his birdies.
The second extra time down the 18th, it once again looked like Baird would take the win when Molder drove into the hazard. But Molder found his ball and hacked out to the front of the green. Despite hitting the pin with his approach, Baird was unable to make birdie.
On the sixth extra hole, the third time down the 18th, Molder finally made a putt to take the title.
“It’s a little surreal right now,” Molder said. “You practice and work, and you just hope there’s some validating behind it. I don’t feel I deserved to win. But I happened to settle myself down to play.”
Although disappointed, Baird could console himself with the fact that his second place cheque for $540,000 guarantees his status on the PGA Tour next season.
Tiger Woods closed with a 68 to finish the week in a tie for 30th. There was excitement surrounding the former World Number 1 out on the course, particularly on the 7th green when a man ran towards him and threw a hot-dog in his direction. A 31-year-old was later arrested.
“I guess he wanted to be in the news,” said Tiger.
England’s Paul Casey was in contention going into the final round but a disappointing level par round of 71 saw him finish in an eight-way tie for seventh.
CordeVealle Golf Club, California
Oct 6-9, purse $5,000,000, par 71
1 Bryce Molder (USA) 71 67 65 64 267 $900,000
2 Briny Baird (USA) 67 69 64 67 267 $540,000
3 Bud Cauley (USA) 69 66 68 66 269 $340,000
T4 Shane Bertsch (USA) 70 68 68 64 270 $220,000
T4 Ernie Els (RSA) 69 66 67 68 270 $220,000
6 John Rollins (USA) 69 70 65 67 271 $180,000
T7 Paul Casey (Eng) 70 64 68 71 273 $130,313
T7 Adam Hadwin (Can) 71 68 64 70 273 $130,313
T7 David Hearn (Can) 71 68 69 65 273 $130,313
T7 Billy Horschel (USA) 72 68 68 65 273 $130,313
T7 Spencer Levin (USA) 71 67 69 66 273 $130,313
T7 Matt McQuillan (Can) 70 68 68 67 273 $130,313
T7 Brendan Steele (USA) 67 71 68 67 273 $130,313
T7 Josh Teater (USA) 71 68 66 68 273 $130,313
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
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