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Swafford holds nerve to win the Corales Puntacana

(Reuters) - Hudson Swafford recovered from a back-nine meltdown to roll in a nervy 10-foot par put at the last and secure a one-shot victory over Tyler McCumber at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic on Sunday.

What looked like it would be a runaway victory, as Swafford pulled four clear of the pack with six to play, turned into a nailbiter that came down to the last putt with the 33-year-old American carding a final-round three-under 69 for a winning total of 18-under 270 to claim his second career win.

“Last two years have been tough,” said Swafford, who has struggled with a foot injury. “Life’s great and golf was really hard, and to do this, it’s fun.

“This is why I get up and grind.”

McCumber put the pressure on with an error-free final round of six-under 66 highlighted by a birdie at 18 while Canadian Mackenzie Hughes had a two-under 70 to finish one further adrift in third.

Swafford began the day two back of overnight leader Adam Long but raced four shots in front with an eagle and three birdies on his outward nine.

Then with six to play Swafford’s round began to crumble as a double-bogey at 13 and a bogey at 15 wiped out his advantage with Hughes and McCumber joining him at the top of the leaderboard.

Swafford would pull out of the tailspin with a birdie at 17 to walk to the 18th tee having regained a one-shot lead.

Ahead of him Hughes had bogeyed at the last to fall out of contention while McCumber was in the clubhouse at 17-under waiting for a Swafford slip-up to send the contest to a playoff.

That looked a real possibility when Swafford left himself a long par putt but he held his nerve to clinch the title.

“I just hit it solid,” said Swafford about his winning putt. “I’ve been putting beautifully all week, hitting a lot of

good putts.

“It was a solid putt and went right in.”

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis

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