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Hoge holds off Spieth at Pebble beach for first PGA title

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Tom Hoge out-duelled former world number one Jordan Spieth down the stretch to win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday, capturing his first US PGA Tour title with a final-round 68.

Hoge trailed Spieth by one stroke through 15 holes. He hit his second shot from the fairway at 16 within inches and tapped in for birdie as Spieth made bogey from a greenside bunker at the 17th, leaving Hoge one shot up.

The 32-year-old pushed his lead to two strokes with a 22-foot birdie putt at the 17th and closed with a par for a 19-under total of 268.

Spieth, a three-time major winner whose 12 tour titles include the 2017 Pebble Beach crown, finished with a three-under 69 for 270.

American Beau Hossler was alone in third after a 71 for 271.

Tom Hoge of the United States celebrates with the trophy after winning the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links. PHOTO: AFP

“Feels pretty good,” the 68th-ranked Hoge said of the victory in his 203rd career start.

Hoge, runner-up at La Quinta two weeks ago, said that in the past he’s found himself uncomfortable after playing himself into contention, but not on Sunday.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “You work through so many hard times, to finally pull one off feels incredible.”

Hoge had held the first-round lead and shared the overnight lead with Hossler and Andrew Putnam.

But it took most of 18 holes to separate himself on a day when five players shared the lead as the final group approached the turn.

After a birdie at the third, Hoge had a double-bogey at the fifth, rebounding with birdies at the sixth and seventh before a bogey at the eighth.

He regained some momentum with a birdie at 11, then rolled in a 17-foot birdie at the 14th.

“It was a weird day because I felt like I made a few too many mistakes early on, so I was kind of out if it,” he said. “And I looked up and I was still in the game making the turn.

“Luckily I made a few putts finally on the back nine.”