Tom Hoge has had multiple runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour since earning his card in 2015. Now, seven years and 203 starts later, he can finally call himself a PGA Tour winner, with the American battling from two shots behind on the back nine to secure the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
With only a handful of holes remaining, it looked as if Jordan Spieth was going to claim his 13th PGA Tour title. However, a costly bogey at the 17th was compounded by Hoge's birdies on the 16th and 17th, leaving the 32-year-old to pick up the trophy by two shots.
"It feels pretty good. I'm almost in shock," explained Hoge. "It's been so long since I have won anything that I have forgotten how to celebrate! It was a weird day because I felt like I made some silly mistakes early on. I thought I was out of it, but I looked at the leaderboard and realised I was still in contention.
"I've always got myself into winning positions and then felt a little bit uncomfortable on Sundays. Today though, I felt great all day and real calm standing over the putts. It's awesome though. You work through so many hard times and to be here and finally pull one off feels incredible."
A back nine to remember at Pebble Beach.@HogeGolf birdies four holes on the way in to claim his first TOUR win @ATTProAm. pic.twitter.com/EAM8yO99ynFebruary 6, 2022
Starting the final round, Hoge found himself in a share of the lead with Beau Hossler and Andrew Putnam. But, in what would be a fiercely fought front nine, we saw a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard going into the back nine, with the likes of Patrick Cantlay and Spieth enjoying under-par front halves.
It would be Spieth though who began to open up his lead from the pack, with the three-time Major champion making back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th to extend the advantage to two shots.
However, Spieth would see his lead reduced to one, with Hoge rapidly birdieing the 11th and 14th before almost holing his approach at the 16th for eagle. A tap-in birdie was then followed by an extremely welcome sight, as Hoge saw Spieth miss a short par putt at the 17th.
Now, with a one shot cushion, the American took full advantage. Sticking his tee shot to 22-foot at the par-3, he would roll in the putt for one of the biggest birdies of his career.
Safely navigating the iconic 18th, Hoge was made to wait a little while longer as Beau Hossler needed to hole out for eagle to force a play-off, but when he failed, the title was Hoge's.
The win follows in the footsteps of Luke List's victory last week at the Farmers Insurance Open, with List waiting till his 206th start to claim his maiden PGA Tour title. Now, on his 203rd, Hoge can call himself a PGA Tour winner.
With victory, he secures a place at this year's Masters, as well as an exemption on the PGA Tour through till 2023-2024. On top of the win, he also moves to 39th in the world rankings and second in the FedEx Cup standings.
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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