Michael Thompson of the USA secured his first PGA Tour title with a two-shot victory in The Honda Classic over Geoff Ogilvy of Australia at the PGA National Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
In testing, windy conditions, Thompson fired an excellent closing round of 69 to post a nine-under-par total. Two weeks ago he missed the cut in the Northern Trust Open by 14 shots and was dead last, this time out he finished at the opposite end of the leaderboard.
The 27-year-old has earned a start in next week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship and the USPGA Championship. He also has a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
“This is a childhood dream come true,” he said. “I’ve dreamed of playing out here since I was 7 years old and to win, it’s just unbelievable. I just can’t put it into words. The whole day was awesome.”
Thompson started his final round strongly with an eagle at the third. With three bogeys on the front nine and two more birdies, he was out in one-under-par.
At one point his lead was four shots but, after he bogeyed the 16th, it was down to one over Ogilvy. Thompson stood in the middle of the par-5 18th fairway with 240 yards to the flag. He took the bold approach and, rather than laying up, blasted a 5-wood into the greenside bunker, leaving a straightforward up-and-down for a birdie and a two-stroke win.
“That shot (the 5-wood) sealed the deal for me,” he said. “It allowed me to walk up the fairway and enjoy the experience.”
Although disappointed to miss out on victory, Ogilvy could console himself with the fact that the runner’s-up finish was enough to secure his place in next week’s World Golf Championship event.
“I’d kind of pencilled in a week off,” he said. “So it’s nice and I’m back in the mix for the Masters.”
The Australian is up to 47th on the Official World Golf Ranking and will need to stay in the top-50 until the end of the month to gain a spot at Augusta.
Luke Guthrie, who was tied for the lead with Thompson through three rounds, struggled during the last 18-holes but he managed to hold on to claim solo third place.
It was a bad day for Tiger Woods. He lost a ball on the 6th and, despite an eagle on the home hole, he closed with a 74.
The Honda Classic
PGA National Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Feb 28 – Mar 3, purse €$6,000,000, par 70
1 Michael Thompson (USA) 67 65 70 69 271 $1,080,000
2 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 68 66 70 69 273 $648,000
3 Luke Guthrie (USA) 68 63 71 73 275 $408,000
T4 Keegan Bradley (USA) 68 68 70 71 277 $226,200
T4 Erik Compton (USA) 69 68 70 70 277 $226,200
T4 Lucas Glover (USA) 69 66 72 70 277 $226,200
T4 David Lynn (Eng) 72 68 68 69 277 $226,200
T4 Justin Rose (Eng) 68 66 72 71 277 $226,200
T9 Graham DeLaet (Can) 65 68 73 72 278 $156,000
T9 Graeme McDowell (NIR) 67 68 73 70 278 $156,000
T9 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 70 68 71 69 278 $156,000
T9 Lee Westwood (Eng) 66 68 70 74 278 $156,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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