WASHINGTON (AFP) – Matthew Wolff, a 20-year-old American in only his fourth US PGA event, sank a 26-foot eagle putt on the last hole yesterday for a dramatic 3M Open victory.
Reigning US college champion Wolff became the second-youngest US PGA winner in 80 years by firing a six-under par 65 in the final round to edge compatriots Bryson DeChambeau and Colin Morikawa by a stroke.
“I just proved to myself I can be out here,” Wolff said. “I knew I can (win). This week I just believed in myself. It’s still settling in.”
Wolff finished 72 holes on 21-under 263 at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota, to earn a PGA spot through the 2020-21 campaign and a berth in the 2020 Masters.
DeChambeau sank a six-foot eagle putt at the par-5 18th to seize the lead at 20-under with only Morikawa and Wolff, each one shot back, remaining.
The former Southern California high school rivals, each playing on a sponsor exemption, gave themselves long eagle putt opportunities.
Wolff, just shy of the green, rolled in his tension-packed putt to reclaim the lead and leave Morikawa, a former world amateur number one, a 22-foot eagle putt to force a playoff.
Morikawa’s putt rolled just past the left side of the cup to give Wolff the victory, although he tapped in to share second.
Canada’s Adam Hadwin was fourth on 266 with Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz and American Wyndham Clark sharing fifth on 267.
American Lucas Glover, the 2009 US Open winner, equaled the course record with a 62, matching the low round of his career and shared seventh on 268.
The only player younger than Wolff to win a PGA event since 1939 was Jordan Spieth, who captured the 2013 John Deere Classic at age 19.
Only four players in PGA history have won with fewer starts than Wolff, who attended Oklahoma State.
Wolff shared 50th at the Phoenix Open in February as an amateur, 80th at last month Travelers Championship in his PGA pro debut and missed the cut last week in Detroit.
DeChambeau, 25, was denied a sixth career US PGA title and second win of the year after the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic in January.
Morikawa, 22, was making only his sixth US PGA start and made a run of five birdies in six holes late to stay in the hunt to the end.
A back-nine last-day shootout was assured when the last group made the turn and 12 players were within two shots of the lead.
Ortiz grabbed the clubhouse lead with Hadwin, Clark and Wolff level on 17-under.
DeChambeau sank a three-foot birdie putt at 13 to join the co-leaders.
Morikawa, in the last duo, made it a six-way logjam at the top with his third consecutive birdie, rolling in a 10-footer at 13 to reach 17-under.
Wolff made a nine-foot birdie putt at the 14th to grab the lead and put his approach three feet from the cup at 15, setting up a birdie to reach 19-under.
But Morikawa, who put his approach inches from the hole, tapped in to stay one back of his playing partner.