Gomez beats Snedeker in playoff to win Sony Open
Argentinian clinches his second PGA Tour title with victory at Waialae Country Club
Fabian Gomez celebrates defeating Brandt Snedeker during a playoff in the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii. Photograph: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Argentina’s Fabian Gomez clinched his second PGA Tour title with a gripping playoff victory over Brandt Snedeker at the Sony Open in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday after producing a clutch birdie-birdie finish in regulation.
Gomez, who had squandered a two-stroke lead with six holes to play, comfortably two-putted for birdie on the second extra hole at Waialae Country Club, the par-five 18th, where Snedeker narrowly missed his attempt from 10 feet.
“I am very proud of myself,” an emotional Gomez told Golf Channel, speaking through an interpreter. “My caddie’s father passed away recently, just a few weeks ago, and this win is in his name.
“I felt pretty good during the round but with those two bogeys [on 13 and 14], I lost momentum and I felt a little nervous towards the end. But that birdie putt on 17 then gave me confidence.”
Stayed in contention
The duo had finished the 72 regulation holes at 20-under 260, American Snedeker carding a four-under 66 and Gomez, who landed his first PGA Tour win at last year’s FedEx St Jude Classic, signing off with a scintillating 10-birdie 62.
Little-known American Zac Blair, seeking his first victory on the US circuit, led by two shots after eight holes and stayed in contention before finishing alone in third at 19 under with a closing 67.
A wildly fluctuating final round at Waialae effectively boiled down to a three-horse race between Gomez, Snedeker and Blair.
All three produced some exhilarating golf over the closing holes. Snedeker struck a brilliant approach to three feet to set up a birdie on 16 and edge one ahead, before Gomez got back into contention by sinking a 10-footer on 17 followed by a sensational 22-foot putt from just off the green on 18.