09/22 18:05 CDT Munoz wins Sanderson Farms in playoff for 1st PGA Tour title
Munoz wins Sanderson Farms in playoff for 1st PGA Tour title
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) --- Sebastian Munoz of Colombia made a 15-foot birdie putt
on the 18th hole to force a playoff, and then beat Sungjae Im with a par on the
first extra hole to win the Sanderson Farms Championship for his first PGA Tour
Munoz, who closed with a 2-under 70, made it two straight weeks for South
American winners, following Joaquin Niemann winning last week at the Greenbrier.
"Jaco's win gave me the belief I needed, the little extra belief I'm good
enough, I'm here," Munoz said.
Niemann won by six shots at the Greenbrier. Munoz had it far more difficult.
He was among four players in the mix over the back nine at the Country Club of
Jackson, and it looked as though the 21-year-old Im would snatch his first
victory when he made a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 14th, got up-and-down
from a bunker on the reachable 15th for birdie, and made it three straight
birdies with a 12-foot putt.
He closed with a 66, and that looked like it might be enough.
Byeong Hun An made consecutive bogeys to fall out of the mix. Carlos Ortiz
couldn't get a putt to fall.
Munoz lost two good scoring opportunities with a drive well right of the
fairway on the 14th, and then flubbing a lob shot left of the 15th green that
went into the bunker, leading to bogey. Down to his last hole, he played it to
perfection with a big drive, an approach to 15 feet below the hole and the most
important putt of his young career.
The 26-year-old from Bogota, who played his college golf at North Texas, poured
in the birdie putt to join Im at 18-under 270.
"We just decided on a line, kept it as as simple as can and just strike the
putt," Munoz said.
The playoff on the 18th hole wasn't as clean.
Im went left into the Bermuda rough and caught a flier, sending the ball well
over the green against the grandstand. Munoz was in the right rough and,
expecting the ball to come out hot, he abbreviated his swing and it came out
some 30 yards short. His chip-and-run rolled out to just under 4 feet. Im did
well to pitch out of rough to just over 6 feet by the hole, but his par putt
didn't even touch the cup and he started walking soon after he hit it.
Munoz rolled in the par putt and the celebration was on.
"I'm speechless," he said.
This is the first time since the tournament began in 1986 that it was not held
the same week as another PGA Tour event with a stronger field. That means it
gets full FedEx Cup points, and Munoz earned a spot in the Masters for the
Im, voted PGA Tour rookie of the year last season for reaching the Tour
Championship, is still looking for his first win.
An wound up alone in third with a birdie on the final hole for a 69, while
Ortiz had to settle for a 71 and a tie for fourth with Kevin Streelman (64).
The playoff ended a peculiar streak of 38 consecutive PGA Tour events that were
decided in regulation, dating to Charles Howell III winning in a playoff at Sea
Island at the end of last year.