Charlotte, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Rookie Derek Ernst bagged his first PGA Tour title in his eighth start Sunday, edging England’s David Lynn on the first playoff hole for the Wells Fargo Championship trophy.
Ernst made a five-foot birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Lynn. Both finished the final round with two-under-par 70 and a total of eight-under for the tournament.
Ersnt’s tee shot hit the fairway and put his second shot about 15 feet away from the hole while Lynn encountered trouble when his tee shot landed on the bank of the creek and his second shot into the right greenside bunker.
Lynn blasted out across the green and chipped back on, with the ball sliding eight feet by the hole. Ernst’s birdie putt lipped out but he tapped in for par that gave him the $1,206,000 top prize and a spot in next week’s Players Championship.
The win also earned him 500 FedEx points, vaulting him from 196th to 32nd in the rankings. Ernst, whose previous best finish was a tie for 47th at last week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, is the fourth first-time winner in the last six tournaments at Quail Hollow.
Lynn settled for the $723,600 runner-up purse while early leader Phil Mickelson shot a final-round one-over-par 73 to finish third, earning $455,600.
Mickelson bogeyed the 16th and 17th hole to fall out of sole possession of the lead. He also missed the 19-footer for a birdie that would have landed him in sudden death.
Lee Westwood and Robert Karlsson finished tied for fourth, two strokes behind Ernst, while Kyle Stanley, Bo Van Pelt, Kevin Streelman and Ryan Moore ended up in a four-way deadlock for sixth place.
Tied for 10th were Ross Fisher, Vaughn Taylor, Charles Howell III, Rory McIlroy, Brian Harman and Nick Watney.