Blixt takes first PGA title

2012-10-15 06:46

California - Swedish rookie Jonas Blixt earned his first US PGA victory after rolling in a four-foot par putt on 18 to capture the $5 million Open by one stroke on Sunday.

Blixt closed with a three-under par 68, collecting $900 000 in prize money and becoming the third rookie to win on the US tour this season.

"It's unbelievable. I have no words right now. This is the biggest dream I ever had," Blixt said. "It's really the greatest two weeks I've had on tour."

Blixt broke through Sunday after coming close this season with three top-10 finishes. He finished third last week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and tied for third at the Byron Nelson Championship.

The native of Nassjo, Smaland, carded his fourth round in the 60s to finish with a 16-under 268 total on the CordeValle golf course.

Americans Tim Petrovic and Jason Kokrak tied for second. Petrovic shot a 64 and Kokrak had a 68.

Third-round leader John Mallinger had a 72 to tie for fourth at 14-under 270 with US compatriot Jimmy Walker, Fiji's Vijay Singh and Alexandre Rocha of Brazil. Walker closed with a 62 and Singh and Rocha shot 68.

Blixt ranks third on the tour in strokes gained putting and managed to recover from a poor approach shot on 18 Sunday by two-putting for the victory.

Blixt, who needed a par to win, hit his approach 38 feet from the hole. He next putt stopped four feet from the cup. His two playing partners finished first, then Blixt rolled in the winning putt.

"On the back nine, I was just trying to hit as many greens as possible and not get too cute, and it paid off," Blixt said.

"I just went through my normal routine (on 18). I had two shots at it. Even if I missed it, you've still got a playoff. That's what I told myself before the putt, then over the putt I just tried to do my normal routine. And it worked."

Petrovic made birdie on the 17th to get to 15-under. He two-putted for par at the last.

"I kind of attacked it like I was playing a one-and-done Monday qualifier. It kept me focused all day and it seemed to work," Petrovic said.

Kokrak joined him as a runner-up after he eagled the driveable par-four 17th to gain a share of the lead. He also parred the 18th hole.

Walker, who started on the back nine, shot a course record-tying 62 to vault into a share of fourth place.

Last year's winner, Bryce Molder, carded a two-under 69 to tie for 11th on 273.

Leading scores on Sunday after the fourth round of the $5 million Open (par-71, USA unless noted):

268 - Jona Blixt (SWE) 66-68-66-68

269 - Jason Kokrak 68-66-67-68, Tim Petrovic 70-68-67-64

270 - John Mallinger 66-62-70-72, Alexandre Rocha (BRA) 69-67-66-68, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 70-66-66-68, Jimmy Walker 73-68-67-62

271 - Jeff Overton 68-69-68-66

272 - Russell Knox (SCO) 70-68-65-69, Gary Woodland 66-72-66-68

273 - Martin Flores 71-67-68-67, Charles Howell 66-69-66-72, Zack Miller 70-69-66-68, Bryce Molder 71-67-66-69, Patrick Reed 73-67-70-63

274 - Steven Bowditch (AUS) 71-64-71-68, Scott Dunlap 70-63-70-71, Ernie Els (RSA) 71-68-69-66, Danny Lee (NZL) 69-67-67-71, Jeff Maggert 67-71-67-69, Chez Reavie 73-65-68-68