Los Angeles - Hudson Swafford finally joined the winner's circle on Sunday, firing a five-under-par 67 for a one-stroke victory at the PGA Tour's CareerBuilder Challenge.
The 29-year-old American birdied three of his last four holes to claim his maiden PGA Tour win in his 93rd Tour start.
"This is a dream come true," Swafford said. "I really didn't get ahead of myself, didn't really look at leaderboards, didn't really know where I was."
He compiled a 20-under 268 total to finish one stroke ahead of Canada's Adam Hadwin, who closed with a 70, one day after storming to a 13-under 59 in the third round at the La Quinta Country Club near Palm Springs, California.
Bud Cauley and Brian Harman both shot 69s and finished in a tie for third at 18-under 270.
Swafford is in his fourth year on the Tour and had never finished higher than a tie for eighth. In five previous starts this season his best finish was a tie for 13th at last week's Sony Open.
Beginning the day two shots off the lead, Swafford got off to a rocky start with a bogey at the par-four No 1 before stringing together five straight pars.
Swafford then caught fire with a burst of three straight birdies to close out his front nine.
On the par-four seventh, he hit his approach to five feet from the hole then easily made the short birdie putt.
After making birdie on the par-five eighth, he drained a 14-foot putt for birdie on the par-four ninth.
"I felt like my posture was good all day, and it just allowed the club to be in a perfect slot," Swafford said.
"That's all we focused on this week. I had really good rhythm, was standing tall and was hitting it beautifully.
"I didn't make every putt I looked at, but I felt like I was hitting some pretty good putts, and to make three of the last four, and I felt like I actually made the one on the last hole, it was pretty special."
The win comes with some nice perks, as Swafford is now qualified for the Masters, the Players Championship, the Dean and Deluca Invitational, the Memorial, the PGA Championship and the 2018 SBS Tournament of Champions.
Third round leader Hadwin was also in search of his first PGA Tour win but his two-under 70 left him just shy of victory.
On Saturday, the 29-year-old from suburban Vancouver became the first Canadian shoot a 59, leaving him one stroke off the Tour record 58 fired last year by American Jim Furyk at the Travelers Championship.
He birdied two of his final three holes Sunday to finish at 19-under 269.
Of the nine players to card a 59 (or better) on tour, Hadwin is the fourth who failed to win the event.
"I can't help but be slightly disappointed," Hadwin said. "I really wanted to come out here and kind of prove that yesterday was just kind of a continuation of some good play and kind of get it done today, but I got beat."
Dominic Bozzelli, who grabbed the first-round lead with a 64, finished in fifth place at 271, closing with a 71.
Brendan Steele (70) and Chad Campbell (71) tied for sixth place at 272. Scott Stalling (66) took eighth at 273, and Sean O'Hair (69), Richy Werenski (70) and Scotland's Martin Laird (69) all came in at 274, tied for ninth.
Leading scores after Sunday's final round of the PGA Tour's Career Builder Challenge played at La Quinta, California (USA unless noted):
268 - Hudson Swafford 65-65-71-67
269 - Adam Hadwin (CAN) 71-69-59-70
270 - Brian Harman 67-65-69-69, Bud Cauley 69-67-65-69
271 - Dominic Bozzelli 64-67-69-71
272 - Brendan Steele 68-64-70-70, Chad Campbell 66-69-66-71
273 - Scott Stallings 67-71-69-66
274 - Sean O'Hair 67-69-69-69, Martin Laird (SCO) 68-66-71-69, Richy Werenski 69-67-68-70
275 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 69-73-66-67, Patrick Reed 69-71-70-65, Chez Reavie 68-70-67-70, Charles Howell 67-68-70-70, Grayson Murray 68-69-67-71