LOS ANGELES: Argentina’s Fabian Gomez birdied the second playoff hole on Sunday (Monday in Manila) to beat Brandt Snedeker for the US PGA Tour Sony Open title in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Gomez blistered the par-70 Waialea Country Club Course for a final-round 62 for a 20-under total of 260.
His round included seven birdies in a row from the sixth through the 12th — six of them from within eight feet.
He shook off momentum sapping bogeys at 13 and 14 to birdie the last two holes.
Gomez was in at 20-under when Snedeker, who shared a one-shot overnight lead with Zac Blair, carded his fifth birdie of the day at the par-five 18th to cap a four-under 66 and force the playoff.
After both parred the first playoff hole—the 18th—they returned to the 18th tee for the second hole of the decider.
Gomez two-putted from the front of the green for birdie, collecting the second US PGA Tour title of his career when Snedeker just missed his birdie chance from 10 feet.
“I’m really, really happy,” Gomez said. “It’s my second victory on tour. I felt good all week long and was able to put on a great round today.
“I got on a streak with seven putts in a row and it made me feel good like I could win the tournament.”
He kept his cool after back-to-back bogeys, and with his confidence restored by a 10-foot birdie putt at 17 calmly drained a 22-footer from off the green at the last hole of regulation.
“I knew I needed to make birdies coming in,” he said. “I sort of let [the bogeys]go away and kept going.”
Gomez was teary eyed talking about the recent death of his caddie Adrian Monteros’ father, adding: “this win is in his name.”
He will also improve to 55th in the world rankings, closing in on a berth in the Rio Games when golf makes its Olympic return.
“I’m really excited about being able to get in the Olympics,” he said. “It depends on how things go with other players, but I feel like I will be almost there.”
Snedeker, whose trademark putting touch was in evidence all week — until the playoff — said that coming up short on his 12-footer to win at the first playoff hole was “going to sting.”
“Obviously disappointed,” the seven-time PGA Tour winner said. “I had some good looks coming down the stretch and uncharacteristically I hit some pretty weak putts. I don’t like to miss putts short.”
Blair, seeking his first tour title, had led briefly but ended up in solo third after a 67 for 19-under 261.
He just missed an eagle attempt at the 72nd hole that would have put him in the playoff.
“One of the best putts I’ve probably ever hit right there on 18,” Blair said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go in.”