PGA Tour

Dufner downs Lingmerth in playoff

2016-01-25 06:52
Jason Dufner (AFP)

Los Angeles - Jason Dufner won his first PGA Tour title since the 2013 PGA Championship on Sunday with a tense playoff victory over Sweden's David Lingmerth in the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, California.

Lingmerth challenge came to a watery end at the second playoff hole, where his second shot from the rough found the water. He was unable to salvage a bogey, as Dufner two-putted for a winning par.

The two had finished 72 holes tied at 25-under 263, four strokes in front of their nearest rivals.

Dufner, who started the day with a two-shot lead, missed a 20-foot birdie attempt at the final hole of regulation, signing for a two-under 70 on the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West.

Lingmerth, who had stormed into contention with a 62 on Saturday, carded a bogey-free 65.

Four of his birdies came on the back nine, and he had seized a one-shot lead before Dufner made his fourth birdie of the day at the 16th to re-join Lingmerth atop the leader board.

Dufner then kept his bid for a fourth US tour title alive with a miraculous escape at the par-three 17th, where his tee shot nestled in a patch of sand among the sharp rocks lining the banks of the water-surrounded green.

He opted to play out, and his shot struck the flagstick to leave him a tap-in for par.

Dufner needed all of his calm confidence again at the first extra hole, where he drained a 10-foot par putt to extend the playoff.

"It was tough today," Dufner said. "I didn't play as good on the front nine as I would have liked. I thought I played pretty good on the back nine.

"David put a run at it ... but I'm proud of myself for hanging in there."

Lingmerth could only regret his lone miscue of the weekend.

"I didn't choke up enough on the club," he said of his second shot at the second playoff hole. "The grass just grabbed it a little bit which made the ball turn over. It wasn't really a bad swing, just a mistake on my part -- should have choked up a little more."

Five-time major champion Phil Mickelson, a two-time winner of this event in the Southern California desert, fired a final-round 68 to share third place with fellow Americans Andrew Loupe and Kevin Na, who also signed for 68s.

It was a further stroke back to Luke List (66), Jamie Lovemark (73) and Adam Hadwin (72).

Mickelson, playing for the first time since the Presidents Cup in September, said he was encouraged by his progress with changes to his game.

"I'm excited," Mickelson said. "This is a really good week for me, for validation that I'm on the right track and that it's continuing to get better as I go along."

Leading final-round scores on Sunday in the US PGA Tour $5.8 million CareerBuilder Challenge at La Quinta, California (x-won at second playoff hole. USA unless noted, par-72):

263 - x-Jason Dufner 64-65-64-70, David Lingmerth (SWE) 68-68-62-65

267 - Andrew Loupe 66-66-67-68, Phil Mickelson 68-65-66-68, Kevin Na 71-66-62-68

268 - Luke List 68-68-66-66, Jamie Lovemark 65-65-65-73, Adam Hadwin (CAN) 66-66-64-72

269 - Kim Si-Woo (KOR) 67-71-64-67, Bill Haas 66-66-69-68

270 - Brian Harman 67-66-72-65, Kevin Streelman 68-69-66-67, Charles Howell 68-67-66-69

271 - Smylie Kaufman 68-69-67-67, Cameron Tringale 69-68-67-67, Bud Cauley 72-65-66-68

272 - Scott Pinckney 69-67-67-69, Jason Gore 68-64-72-68, Chez Reavie 70-71-65-66, Webb Simpson 70-65-68-69, Lucas Glover 66-71-65-70, Noh Seung-Yul (KOR) 68-69-65-70, Ryan Palmer 67-66-66-73

273 - Martin Piller 68-72-65-68, Ben Crane 66-69-67-71, Colt Knost 65-69-68-71, John Huh 69-64-66-74

Read more on:    jason dufner  |  golf

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