48-year-old American birdies the 1st playoff hole to outlast Wyndham Clark and post his 1st victory since early 2013
American Brian Gay wasn’t sure that he’d ever win again on the PGA Tour, but he knew that he owed it to himself to keep working.
Sunday in Bermuda, Gay’s wait ended.
Gay birdied the first playoff hole to hold off Wyndham Clark and win the PGA Tour’s Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda. They had tied at 15-under 269 after 72 holes (scores).
Gay had birdied the same par-4 18th hole moments earlier after hitting a gap wedge tight, capping a 7-under 64 to tie Clark, who closed with a 65.
“I've struggled the last few months and been quite miserable on the course at times,” said Gay, who earned $720,000 from the $4 million purse. “Everyone around me kept telling me, You're still going to win. My wife [Kimberly] says, You're still going to win. Do it again. “I just kept at it. Crazy game. You never know what's going to happen. And it's really hard to believe right now, but yeah, almost 7½ years or so, so it's really pretty cool.”
Actually, it’s closer to eight. Gay, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, hadn’t won since Jan. 21, 2013 at the Humana Challenge.
And oddly enough, he had very little indication that this might be his week to win again.
“I don't know what it was,” said Gay, who noted a letdown upon his return from the three-month break during the coronavirus shutdown, especially with the ban on spectators since the PGA Tour resumed play in June.
“We're missing the fans and it was super quiet and just not much going on out there,” he said. “I just struggled with it. And struggled with my putting a bunch, which is not normal for me. I'm usually a great putter. So, I've been working on that a lot lately and a couple different things to try to turn things around here.”
The Bermuda event, at which spectators were capped at 500 daily, was the first tournament since the season restart at which fans were admitted.
“It was great to have the fans out here this week,” said Gay, who became the third 40-something winner in eight events this season, joining Stewart Cink (Safeway Open) and Sergio Garcia (Sanderson Farms). “Maybe that just sparked me a little bit, to turn things around.”
Gay wasn’t the only guy with a little gray who had a good week on the North Atlantic island. Fred Funk became only the fourth player age 64 or older to make the cut on the PGA Tour, joining Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. (Snead made seven cuts at age 64 or older, and holds the record, at age 67.) Funk was paired with his son, Taylor, who missed the cut. The elder Funk tied for 59th.
Clark, 26, still is looking for his first victory on the PGA Tour. In his 14th start since the Tour’s resumption in play in June, Clark posted only his sixth made cut, though it was his third in a row.
Defending champion Brendon Todd, the highest-ranked player in the field, at No. 41 in the world, failed to make the cut.
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