Derek Ernst wins Wells Fargo Championship

Derek Ernst of the USA came through a playoff against England's David Lynn to win the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Derek Ernst wins Wells Fargo Championship (Getty Images)

Derek Ernst of the USA came through a playoff against England's David Lynn to win the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Ernst only made it into the tournament as the fourth alternate. He was in a car headed towards a Tour event when he received a phone call to say he had made it into the Quail Hollow field. He turned around, headed back to Charlotte and five days later he was the champion.

"This feeling is unbelievable right now," said Ernst who has climbed from 196th to 32nd on the FedEx Cup standings and has earned a start in next week's Players Championship.

In terrible conditions at Quail Hollow, the tournament could have ended very differently.

Phil Mickelson held a one-stroke lead with three holes to play but he bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes and narrowly failed to biridie the last. He closed with a 73 and finished one stroke back.

"I felt like I was in control, and I let it slip away there the last few holes, so it was disappointing," Mickelson said.

England's David Lynn closed with a 70 to finish on 280. That total was matched by Ernst when the young Californian played a superb approach to the tough 18th to set up one of only four birdies through the day at the closing hole.

Returning to the 18th for the playoff, Ernst once again played two solid shots to find the putting surface. Lynn drove down the left and his ball ended in thick rough on the edge of a stream. He fired out into the greenside bunker, blasted through the green and chipped up to five-feet.

But he wasn't required to putt. Ernst rolled his ball close and made a par 4 to take the title.

"He played super," said Lynn. "He hit two really solid shots in the playoff, so every credit to him. Well done."

Another Englishman, Lee Westwood finished in a tie for fourth with Robert Karlsson of Sweden. Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy closed with a 73 to finish in a tie for 10th.

Wells Fargo Championship Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina May 2-5, purse $6,700,000 par 72

1   Derek Ernst (USA)   67   71   72   70   280   $1,206,000 2   David Lynn (Eng)      71   68   71   70   280   $723,600 3   Phil Mickelson (USA)   68   67   73   73   281   $455,600 T4   Robert Karlsson (Swe)   69   72   69   72   282   $294,800 T4   Lee Westwood (Eng)   70   68   72   72   282   $294,800 T6   Ryan Moore (USA)   67   72   68   73   283   $216,913 T6   Kyle Stanley (USA)   74   68   73   68   283   $216,913 T6   Kevin Streelman (USA)   68   72   71   72   283   $216,913 T6   Bo Van Pelt (USA)   74   70   68   71   283   $216,913

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

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Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?