LOS ANGELES: Andrew Landry squandered a six-shot back-nine lead on Sunday (Monday in Manila) but finished with back-to-back birdies to win the PGA Tour American Express in La Quinta, California, by two shots.
Landry fired a five-under-par 67 on the PGA West Stadium Course for a 26-under-par total of 262.
He appeared to be cruising toward his second PGA Tour title when he nabbed three birdies on the front nine and opened the back with birdies at 10, 11 and 12.
But Landry, who lost the 2018 title in the California desert in a playoff against Spain’s Jon Rahm, bogeyed three straight to open the door to Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, who powered up the leaderboard with a 63 for 264.
Landry arrived at the 17th tee tied for the lead. In what he called the “biggest shot of the tournament” he landed an eight-iron six feet from the pin on the dangerous island green.
He followed that birdie with a birdie at 18, where he split the fairway and hit his approach to six feet.
“I’ve been swinging it well all week and putting it well all week,” Landry said as he discussed how he maintained his poise after blowing his big lead.
“That putt on 15, I don’t know how that ball didn’t go in. Then I hit another great putt on 16. So I was, like, ‘Hey, look, I’m stroking the ball well.’
“I had good swing thoughts.”
Nevertheless, the memory of the 2018 playoff loss was also prominent, making for an emotional moment when he’d secured the win and toddler son Brooks ran onto the 18th green for a hug.
Coming into the week Landry had missed five straight cuts, and seven of eight since the 2019-20 campaign began.
Ancer notched another solid result with his fourth top-four finish, but remains in search of his first PGA Tour title.
262 – Andrew Landry 66-64-65-67
264 – Abraham Ancer (MEX) 68-67-66-63
265 – Scottie Scheffler 65-64-66-70
268 – Bud Cauley 68-64-71-65, Sepp Straka
269 – Sam Burns 71-68-67-63, Tom Hoge
66-70-66-67, Sebastian Cappelen (DEN) 67-
70-64-68, Ryan Moore 68-65-67-69
270 – Grayson Murray 64-71-69-66, Im
Sung-jae (KOR) 67-66-69-68, Andrew
Putnam 67-69-65-69, Rickie Fowler 65-64-
271 – Adam Schenk 66-69-68-68, Tony Finau
69-62-71-69, Alex Noren (SWE) 67-67-68-69
272 – Matthew NeSmith 68-68-70-66, Kevin
Na 69-67-69-67, Talor Gooch 69-71-64-68,
Hank Lebioda 65-71-66-70