After two consecutive weeks where Justin Thomas took nearly all the drama out of the final round by winning in runaways, PGA Tour fans had missed exciting finishes.
They sure got one today.
Hudson Swafford birdied 15, 16, and 17 to emerge from a logjam and win the CareerBuilder Challenge by one stroke over Adam Hadwin, who stole all of Saturday’s headlines after becoming the eighth player in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59.
Brian Harman and Bud Cauley finished two back of Swafford. The 29-year-old Swafford started the day two strokes out of the lead, but his Sunday 5-under 67 secured his first career Tour victory.
Over the first three rounds of the tournament, players rotated between three different courses, leading to many scorecards that looked inconsistent, but on the day where everyone played the Stadium Course, Swafford was king.
1 Hudson Swafford -20
2 Adam Hadwin -19
T3 Brian Harman, Bud Cauley -18
5 Dominic Bozzelli -17
T6 Brendan Steele, Chad Campbell -16
8 Scott Stallings -15
T9 Sean O’Hair, Richey Werensky -14
T12 Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed -13
T17 Bill Haas -1
T21 Phil Mickelson, Chris Kirk -11
T25 Jason Dufner, Kevin Kisner, Anirban Lahiri -10
T34 David Lingmerth, Jon Rahm -9
T58 Steven Bowditch, Paul Casey –
T72 Smylie Kaufman -3
How Swafford Did It
A University of Georgia product, Swafford was near the top of the leaderboard all week, and was solo-leader after two rounds. He did not get off to the start he wanted, with a bogey-five on the par-4 first hole. Fortunately for Swafford, it was his only bogey of the day. He got his birdies in bunches: getting three in a row from 7-9, and three more consecutively from 15-17. He parred everything else.
The last birdie separated himself from a leaderboard that had become very congested. Despite a man in the field (Hadwin) carding 13 birdies on Saturday, Swafford’s 26 was #1 for the week. He only hit 8 of 14 fairways on the day, but was accurate on hitting 15 of 18 greens. He led the field in GIR for the week.
What It Means For Swafford