Scott Brown birdies last hole to win Puerto Rico Open
Scott Brown went from a one-shot deficit to a one-shot victory Sunday in the Puerto Rico Open when he made a 4-foot birdie putt on the final hole to beat Fabian Gomez and capture his first PGA Tour title.
Brown closed with a 2-under 70, his final birdie set up with a 3-iron that he kept low to avoid palm trees and leave himself a 30-yard pitch short of the green.
Gomez, trying to become the first Argentine to win on tour since Angel Cabrera at the 2009 Masters, was in perfect position off the tee at the 18th. That's when it went all around.
His second shot left him a tough lie in the bunker, and he blasted that over the green and into another bunker. He missed a 15-foot par putt for a 71, and then had to watch as Brown rapped in the winning putt.
"I thought I would need an eagle as well as he was playing," Brown said. "So I just stayed aggressive."
Brown finished at 20-under 268 to set the tournament record. He earned $630,000, a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a spot in The Players Championship in May and the PGA Championship in August. Because the Puerto Rico Open is held the same week as a World Golf Championship in Florida, the win does not get the native of Augusta, Ga., into the Masters.
David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., posted a bogey-free round of 66, which equalled the low round of the day, to finish in a tie for eighth at 16-under par. It's his first top-10 result of the year after missing four of the first six cuts.
Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., birdied two of his final three holes for a round of 70 and a tie for 18th.
Brad Fritsch of Ottawa finished with a flurry, making birdies on four of his last six holes for a round of 70 and a tie for 39th. That gives the PGA Tour rookie cheques in six of his first seven events this year.
Gomez tied for second with 19-year-old Jordan Spieth, who was playing on a sponsor exemption and now is exempt into the Tampa Bay Championship. Spieth shot 67.
Justin Bolli (66) and Brian Stuard (68) were another shot behind.
Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein made eagle on the final hole for a 67 to tie for sixth, giving him a spot in Tampa Bay next week. Uihlein, who is playing the Challenge Tour in Europe, was coming off a tie for fourth in South Africa in a European Tour event.
Brown became the fourth first-time tour winner this year, joining Russell Henley (Sony Open), John Merrick (Northern Trust Open) and Michael Thompson (Honda Classic).
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