Byrd ace wins Vegas play-off
Jonathan Byrd has secured his fourth US PGA Tour title in spectacular fashion – with a hole-in-one
Jonathan Byrd secured his fourth US PGA Tour title in spectacular fashion in Las Vegas on Sunday when, in near-darkness, he appropiately produced an ace at the fourth play-off hole to win the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Earlier Byrd had completed the regulation 72 holes in a three-way tie with with Scottish defending champion Martin Laird and Australia’s Cameron Percy on 21 under par to force a play-off.
Then, after three extra holes had failed to separate the players, the man from South Carolina stepped up in the fading light and finally broke the deadlock with a 204-yard hole-in-one at the par-three 17th.
It was too dark for Byrd to see what happened when his ball hit the green about 10 feet short of the flag and and even the cheers from the handful of specators that remained when it rolled into the hole was so unconvincing that he had to ask: “Did that go in?”
Almost amazing as that final shot, was the one that kept him alive on the third play-off hole, the par-4 18th.
There his approach ran through the green and should have found water. But no. It was brought to an unexpected stop by a clump of grass and he made par to keep himself in the three-way duel.
Just three tee-shots later – his and those by Laird and Percy that both hit the water – and it was all over.
He had won the battle of TPC Summerlin, earned his first title since the John Deere Classic in July 2007, picked up a winner’s cheque for 756,000 US dollars (almost £481,000) and ensured that he’ll be a member of the Tour for the next two years
It was no wonder he said, looking a little dazed: “I’m in shock.” .
It was another stunning finnish to a dramatic Fall Series.
Only a week ago, Rocco Mediate won the Frys.com Open at CordeValle by holing out with a wedge for an eagle on the 17th hole of the final round – on the same hole were playing partner and rival-in-chief Alex Prugh came within inches of holing out from the tee box with his driver.
Byrd shot a 4-under par 68 for his 18 regular holes to get in to the play-off on Sunday, third-round leader Laird a 69 and Percy a 67 to get into the play-off.
Webb Simpson was on course to win – until he took five shots at the 17th to slip back into a tie for fourth with fellow American Spencer Levin.
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