A year full of drought-breaking victories on the PGA Tour ended on a similar note at the RSM Classic. Here’s how things ended up at Sea Island, where Charles Howell III edged Patrick Rodgers for his first win since 2007:
Leaderboard: Charles Howell III (-19), Patrick Rodgers (-19), Webb Simpson (-18), Ryan Blaum (-17), Luke List (-17)
What it means: Howell has had plenty of close calls over the last 11 years, and this one certainly wasn’t easy. Poised for a wire-to-wire victory, he stumbled out of the gates by playing his first two holes in 3 over, then had to try and catch a red-hot Rodgers. But three birdies over his final four holes got him into a playoff, and Howell ended things with a birdie on the second extra hole. It’s just the third win of his career, and first since the 2007 Genesis Open, but now Howell can book a trip to Maui in January – and will make a hometown start in Augusta next spring in his first Masters appearance since 2012.
Round of the day: What Rodgers did to the Seaside Course over the weekend may very well have violated Georgia law. After making the cut on the number, he blitzed Sea Island with a third-round 61 only to return with a 62 on Sunday. That 36-hole effort set a PGA Tour scoring record, and it included a bogey-free scorecard in the finale where Rodgers circled five birdies over his final eight holes.
Best of the rest: Peter Uihlein picked up some extra cash in his final competitive round of the year, shooting a 7-under 63 to move up 15 spots in the final standings. Uihlein made his move in the middle of the round, recording six straight birdies on Nos. 5-10, to finish the week at 15 under in a tie for seventh.
Biggest disappointment: Howell wasn’t the only player in the final group looking to end a victory drought, as Jason Gore was in contention for what would have been his first Tour win since 2005. But the veteran struggled Sunday, shooting a 2-over 72 that included just two birdies to drop from a tie for second into a tie for 15th.
Shot of the day: Howell had a putt to win on the final hole of regulation, and again on the first playoff hole. But the third time was the charm, as he buried a 20-footer for the win, dropped his putter to the ground and put his head in his hands in disbelief.
Quote of the day: “I’ve failed a lot of times. Fortunately, it was different today.” – Howell