American posts 1-stroke victory in Dominican Republic for his 1st victory in nearly 4 years, earning some big-event berths for 2021
Hudson Swafford earned his first victory on the PGA Tour in more than 3½ years the hard way, losing a three-stroke lead on the back nine before rallying over the final two holes Sunday at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic (scores).
Swafford sank an 8-foot par putt on the final hole to secure a one-stroke victory, his second in seven seasons on the PGA Tour and his first since early 2017.
“My caddie, Kyle [Bradley], and I, we were talking," said Swafford, recalling the final putt. "I thought the putt might go a little right; he said it might go a little left. He just said, 'Man, just hit a solid putt. You've hit a lot of them; just hit one more solid putt.' I hit a great one.”
After making the turn at Corales Golf Club in 5-under 31 and leading by as many as four strokes, Swafford brought the field back into the chase on the back nine with a two-chip double bogey on the par-4 13th and a bogey at the 15th. He pulled ahead with a birdie at the par-3 17th before making a clinching par at the seaside 18th at the resort course on the eastern edge of Hispaniola.
Swafford shot 3-under 69 for an 18-under 270 total.
American Tyler McCumber posted a bogey-free 66 for a 17-under 271 and solo second. Canadian Mackenzie Hughes shot 70 for a 16-under 272 and third place. Third-round leader Adam Long struggled with a 75 to fade to fifth place, one stroke behind Nate Lashley, who shot 69 for a 273 total and solo fourth.
Swafford, 33, earned $720,000 from the $4 million purse, plus invitations to four premier events in 2021: the Tournament of Champions, Players, Masters and PGA Championship.
The Puntacana event, in its third year on the PGA Tour, began in 2016 on the developmental Web.com Tour. In the past two years, the tournament was an opposite-field event, but it held its own place on the schedule this year when the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai was canceled because of travel restrictions associated with the global coronavirus pandemic.
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