Fabian Gomez of Argentina closed with two birdies for an eight-under 62, and then made his 11th birdie of the day on the second playoff hole to beat Brandt Snedeker on Sunday at the Sony Open in Honolulu.
Gomez won for the second time on the PGA Tour, and this one was much tougher.
Starting the final round four shots behind, the 37-year-old Gomez ran off seven straight birdies in the middle his round, let Snedeker back in the tournament with a pair of bogeys, and then holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and a 20-foot birdie from just off the 18th green to finish at 20-under 260.
Snedeker made a four-foot birdie on the 18th for a 66 to force the playoff.
Zac Blair, who shared the 54-hole lead with Snedeker, had a 10-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to join them, but it missed on the high side. He had a 67.
On the first playoff hole at the par-5 18th, Snedeker’s 12-foot birdie for the win narrowly missed. Returning to the 18th a second time in the playoff — the hardest fairway to hit at Waialae on Sunday — Gomez went with a hybrid off the tee to stay in the short grass. His 3-iron reached the front of the green and set up a long two-putt birdie.
Snedeker hit driver into a bunker, laid up and hit wedge 10 feet behind the hole. His birdie attempt to extend the playoff slid by to the right.
“It’s frustrating because I couldn’t make putts to win the golf tournament,” Snedeker said. He said leaving his 12-foot putt to win on the first playoff hole “is going to sting today and tomorrow.”
His 62 was the lowest closing round by a Sony Open champion.
Blair saved par from 8 feet on the 16th hole to keep alive his chance, and he almost cashed in with what he called the best 3-wood of his life from 280 yards. “Oh my gosh, that’s so good,” Blair said as he watched it bound forward onto the green to 10 feet. He needed the eagle to join the playoff. It stayed just above the hole.
“One of the best putts I’ve probably ever hit right there on 18,” he said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go in.”
Si Woo Kim, the 20-year-old from South Korea, was part of a five-way tie for the lead briefly. He closed with one bogey and five parts for a 68 to finish fourth.
Kevin Kisner, playing in the final group for the third time in his last four tournaments, ended his streak of 15 consecutive rounds under par at the worst time. His best putts were to save par until a wild tee shot on the eighth led to double bogey, dropping him five shots behind. Kisner still was in the mix until a bunker-to-bunker double bogey on the 17th ended his day. He closed with a 70 and tied for fifth.
Gomez surged into contention, and then the lead, with seven straight birdies starting with a 12-foot putt on the sixth hole. The Argentine was so dialed in that the next six birdies were all inside 8 feet. But he followed that streak with two straight bogeys, and only the great finish got him into the playoff.
Europe finishes runaway win in EurAsia Cup
Englishmen Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Andy Sullivan won singles matches to complete weekend sweeps and help Europe rout Asia 18 1/2-5 1/2 in the EurAsia Cup in Shah Alam, Malaysia.
Europe won the singles 9 1/2-2 1/2 after going 4 1/2-1 1/2 each in the fourball and foursomes sessions at Glenmarie.
Poulter beat Malaysia’s Danny Chia, 4 and 3, Westwood topped Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung, 7 and 6, and Sullivan beat Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, 4 and 3. Ireland’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, the youngest member of the European team at 21, sealed the victory with a 2-up win over Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Porteous capture Joburg Open title
South Africa’s Haydn Porteous won the Joburg Ope in Johannesburg for his first European Tour title, closing with a 3-under 69 for a two-stroke victory.
The 21-year-old Porteous finished at 18-under 269 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington. South Africa’s Zander Lombard had a 71 to finish second.