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 toward the
end. But that birdie putt on 17 then gave me confidence."
Both Gomez, from 15 feet, and Snedeker, from 12, had earlier missed
birdie putts on the first extra hole, also the 18th.
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
U.S. circuit, led by two shots after eight holes and stayed in
contention before finishing alone in third at 19 under with a
A wildly fluctuating final round at Waialae effectively boiled down
to a three-horse race between Gomez, Snedeker and Blair.
Snedeker and Blair, co-leaders overnight, stumbled early with bogeys
at the par-three fourth, before Blair made his move with birdies at
the fifth, seventh and eighth, where he drained a 20-footer, to
forge two strokes clear at 18 under.
Gomez, however, was steadily putting together a red-hot run on the
back of sharp approach play and seven consecutive birdies from the
sixth gave him a two-shot cushion at 20 under.
[to top of second column]
Both Gomez, with bogeys at 13 and 14, and Blair, who faltered with a
three-putt at the 14th, slipped back into a three-way share of the
lead with Snedeker, who sank an eight-footer to birdie 14.
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.
Blair narrowly missed an eagle attempt from 10 feet at the last that
would have got him into the playoff, and Snedeker got up and down
from just short of the green to birdie 18 before his usually lethal
putting let him down on the extra holes.
"Obviously disappointed," said Snedeker, a seven-times winner on the
PGA Tour. "I had some good looks coming down the stretch and
uncharacteristically I hit some pretty weak putts.
"I fought hard, and gave myself a chance but, all in all, I couldn't
figure out a way to get it done and I didn't do it."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter
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