Jonathan Byrd won a dramatic three-man play-off to claim the penultimate event of the PGA Fall Series in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin on Sunday evening.
Online bookmakers are giving away free bets to first-time customers signing up during the Fall Series which concludes with Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Magnolia GC in Florida from 11-14 November.
The 32-year-old American hit a hole-in-one at the fourth play-off hole to decide the tournament after being tied with Scotland’s Martin Laird and Australian Cameron Percy on 21-under-par after four rounds.
With the light fading fast officials asked if the players wished to continue through the 196-yard 17th hole and Byrd left it to his playing partners to decide.
With the green barely visible, Byrd drew his six iron and fired his tee shot into the gloom, unable to see his ball land he heard the cheers of the greenside crowd and disbelievingly asked his caddy: “Did that go in?”
It had indeed, bouncing once it rolled up the narrow green and into the cup leaving an impossible task for Laird and Percy who ended up hitting into the water with their tee shots to give Byrd an unforgettable win.
There was drama on the previous hole when Byrd was within inches of elimination at the third play-off hole.
His approach shot on the par-4 18th ran through the green towards the water only to miraculously settle on the down slope in a clump of grass.
He hit his recovery chip to seven feet of the pin and sank his par putt to keep alive his hopes of winning his first title of the year.
The win is Byrd’s fourth in his career and couldn’t have been more timely as it secured him a welcome two-year exemption.
Australian rookie Percy made a bold bid to keep his PGA Tour card, he needed a win to ensure his place next year and gave himself a chance when sinking a 15-foot birdie on the final hole to make the play-off.
He gets a final opportunity in the last Fall Series event in Florida in two and a half weeks time.
Martin Laird will rue not taking his chances, the Scot had led overnight at 19-under par and missed four birdie opportunities, one in regulation and three in the play-off that could have won the title.
Laird heads off to Malaysia for the next major tournament where the $6million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic will be held at The MINES Resort in Selangor this weekend.
Boylesports have installed Luke Donald and Ernie Els as 10/1 joint favourites to win the event and bet 28/1 for Laird to go one better and win his second career PGA Tour title.
SHRINERS HOSPITALS FINAL LEADERBOARD:
-21 J Byrd, M Laird (Sco), C Percy (Aus)
-20 W Simpson, S Levin
-19 C Beckman, N Watney
-18 A Baddeley (Aus), R Palmer, R Imada (Jpn)
-17 J Senden (Aus), C Tringle, R S Johnson (Swe)