Hoffman sinks nine-foot birdie to win in Texas

Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:14pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Charley Hoffman, ice-cool on the back nine, took advantage of a last-day collapse by fellow American Ricky Barnes to clinch his fourth PGA Tour victory by one shot at the Texas Open in San Antonio on Sunday.

Two off the pace overnight, Hoffman bucked a worrying recent trend of carding poor scores in final rounds as he closed with a three-under-par 69 on the challenging Oaks layout at TPC San Antonio.

The 39-year-old Californian recorded two birdies early on the back nine to break clear of a congested leaderboard, and then held steady before sinking his winning birdie putt from nine feet at the last to post a 12-under total of 276.

Compatriot Patrick Reed, who played with Hoffman in the final round, had to settle for second place as he also signed off with a 69, narrowly missing eight-foot birdie putts on 16 and 17 before finishing up with a birdie at the par-five 18th.

Barnes, who carded a five-bogey 74, finished three shots off the pace in a tie for fourth.

"It's won," an emotional Hoffman told CBS Sports, his voice cracking after he had got up and down from a greenside bunker to birdie the last.

"This month was hard, being in contention every Sunday and not closing the door. It's not me. It was nice to make that putt (on 18), that's for sure. I'm happy."

Hoffman triumphed for the first time on the PGA Tour since landing the 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba, and he did so by posting his first sub-73 score in a final round in his last seven tournaments.

Prior to this week, his final-round stroke average of 74.75 was 5.02 shots worse than his first round average, and more than three shots worse than his mean in the second or third rounds.   Continued...

Apr 24, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; Charley Hoffman watches his drive on the 15th hole during the final round of the 2016 Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio - AT&T Oaks Course. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports