• Hoffman birdies final hole for dramatic Texas Open win

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    Charley Hoffman lines up a putt on the 17th hole during the final round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course on Sunday in San Antonio, Texas. AFP PHOTO

    Charley Hoffman lines up a putt on the 17th hole during the final round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course on Sunday in San Antonio, Texas. AFP PHOTO

    LOS ANGELES: Charley Hoff­man laid the ghost of some recent near-misses on Sunday (Monday in Ma­nila), sinking a clutch birdie putt at the final hole to win the Texas Open in San Antonio.

    The American notched his fourth US PGA Tour title — and his first since the 2014 OHL Classic at Mayakoba — carding a three-under par 69 for a 12-under par total of 276.

    “This last month has been hard, being in contention every Sunday and not closing the door,” said an emotional Hoff­man, who rolled in a nine-foot birdie putt at the final hole after playing partner Patrick Reed had birdied the last to pull level atop the leaderboard.

    “It’s nice to make that putt, that’s for sure,” added Hoffman, who was one off the lead after three rounds at the RBC Heri­tage last week but faded to a share of 14th.

    Headed into this week, Hoffman ranked 200th in final-round scoring average and had not posted a score on the last day better than 73 in his last six final rounds.

    But with overnight leader Ricky Barnes fading, Hoffman seized his chance this time.

    He birdied the 11th and 14th to arrive at TPC San Antonio’s par-five 18th with a one-shot lead over Reed.

    He was in a greenside bunker with his second shot, his third leaving him a nine-footer, which he stepped up and poured into the center of the cup after Reed — who had chipped from the edge of the green to a foot — had made his birdie to join him at 11-under.

    “I said to myself ‘Let’s finish this here. Let’s not play anymore,’” Hoffman said.

    Reed, who barely missed birdie putts at 16 and 17, finished alone in second after his 69 for 277.

    “I thought they were in,” Reed said. “I put the pressure as much as I could on Charley. It shows he was ready to win a golf tourna­ment, and I had way too many mistakes to close one out.”

    Chad Collins was third after a 69 for 278.

    Barnes, seeking his first PGA Tour title, had five bogeys and three birdies in a two-over 74 that dropped him into a share of fourth place on 279.

    He was tied with Kevin Chappell, Ryan Palmer, Billy Horschel and Martin Piller — the husband of LPGA player Gerina Piller.

    Piller briefly took the lead after a birdie at the 12th, but he slid back with a double-bogey from a tough lie in a bunker at the par-three 13th.

    AFP

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