Rookie Ernst beats Lynn in Quail Hollow play-off
McIlroy faded on the back nine with a double bogey at the par four 12th and finished four shots off the pace
Derek Ernst hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Tyler Lecka/Getty Images
Ernst, 22, who birdied the 72nd hole to tie for the lead, won his first PGA Tour title with a tap-in par at the par-four 18th after Lynn, runner-up at last year’s PGA Championship, got into trouble off the tee in sudden death.
Entering the field as the fourth alternate, Ernst won his maiden title in his eighth start on the tour. The Californian’s previous best finish was a tie for 41st at the 2012 Frys.com Open.
Lynn hit his tee shot on the play-off hole into deep rough on the left, put his second shot into a greenside bunker on the right and overshot the green when blasting out. His chip ran eight feet past the cup, allowing the American to win with par.
Ernst and Lynn both shot final rounds of two-under-par 70 to finish tied at eight-under-par 280 on a wet, chilly day that brought the golfers out early in the morning in hopes of beating stormy weather forecast for later in the day.
Phil Mickelson, the overnight co-leader, was also eight under par with two holes to play, but bogeyed the par-three 17th hole to miss out on the playoff. The big left-hander shot a final-round 73 to finish alone in third on seven-under 281.
McIlroy, who was in contention at the turn, faded in the back nine with a double bogey at the par four 12th starting a decline which eventually saw him finish one over for the round and four shots behind Ernst and Lynn.