Emiliano Grillo of Argentina hoists the trophy after winning the PGA Charles Schwab Challenge in a playoff at Colonial Country Club
Houston (AFP) - Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo birdied the second playoff hole to defeat American Adam Schenk on Sunday to win the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge for his first triumph in eight years.
The 30-year-old South American fired a two-under par 68 and despite a closing double bogey finished level with Schenk on eight-under 272 for 72 holes at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
After both parred 18 to begin the playoff, they went to the par-3 16th and Grillo’s tee shot landed just inside five feet.
Schenk, seeking his first PGA title, missed the green but chipped within three feet only for Grillo to make his putt for the long-sought title.
“It has been such a ride,” Grillo said. “It makes me think of where I am coming from. It makes me think of my family… They say the second is harder than the first. It definitely was.
“I’m on top of the world right now. Hopefully I can stay there for at least one more week.”
Grillo won his only prior PGA title at the 2015 Frys.com Open, beating American Kevin Na with a birdie on the second playoff hole in his debut as a PGA member.
The only other Argentine winner of the event was Roberto De Vicenzo in 1957, the first Colonial champion from outside the United States.
World number one Scottie Scheffler, who made a hole-in-one in shooting 67, shared third on 273 with England’s Harry Hall, who shot 73 after a bogey on 18 to miss the playoff.
“Winning on the PGA Tour is a lot closer than I thought it was,” Hall said. “Coming down the stretch there you don’t need amazing golf to get it done.”
Grillo, who had four birdies and two bogeys in the first seven holes, made a 17-foot birdie putt at the 12th and curled in a birdie putt from just inside 20 feet at the par-3 16th, little knowing he’d win with another birdie on the same hole after a double bogey at 18.
“I made a double on 18 and honestly I didn’t care,” Grillo said. “I’d have liked to get it on the 72nd but I closed with some great swings at 18 and two great birdies at 16.”
Hall missed a 16-foot par putt to slip two adrift of Grillo, while Schenk made an eight-footer to birdie 16 and reach eight-under.
But Grillo went way right off the 18th tee, took a penalty drop, needed two more to reach the green and two-putted for double bogey to create a three-way tie for the lead.
Hall, ranked 197th, found water off the 18th tee and made bogey. Schenk missed a 15-foot birdie putt and tapped in for a playoff.
“The last was a little bit funky,” Hall said. “I hit a great shot. It overdrew on the went and went really far. I didn’t think I could reach that. It went 340 (yards).”
- ‘I’ll learn from it’ -
Hall and Schenk shared the 54-hole lead but stumbled back.
Schenk made a bogey at six after finding a fairway bunker, another at 10 after hitting greenside sand and missed the green at the par-3 13th for a third bogey.
Hall opened with back-to-back birdies but missed four-foot par putts at the fifth and par-3 eighth and made bogey at the par-5 11th.
“Missed a couple inside five feet,” Hall said. “I don’t normally do that. I’ll learn from it.”
Scheffler aced the 189-yard eighth hole with a 7-iron.
“It was nice,” Scheffler said. “It landed where I wanted it to, everybody started standing up and I was fortunate it went in.”