Thompson holds off Ogilvy to capture first PGA title
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (AFP) –
American Michael Thompson birdied the final hole to hold off Australian Geoff Ogilvy and capture his first PGA title, winning the $6 million Honda Classic by two strokes on Sunday.
Thompson, last year’s US Open runner-up, played the back nine at level par on his way to firing a one-under par 69 in a windy final round to finish on nine-under par 271 with 2006 US Open winner Ogilvy second after a closing 69.
“Really, I just stuck to my game plan,” Thompson said. “All week I’m just trying to find it in the dirt.
“This week, it was magical. I just tried to keep feeling it, keep believing it.”
Thompson, who began the day with a share of the lead, eagled the par-5 third hole with a putt from nearly 50 feet away and answered a bogey at the fourth with a birdie at the par-3 fifth to move three strokes clear of the field.
He stumbled at the end of the front nine with bogeys at the par-3 seventh and par-4 ninth around a birdie at the par-4 eighth, but his short game saved him when he blasted an approach off the pine straw at the 10th and barely cleared the water at 11, each time rescuing par.
Thompson made bogey at 16 to open the door to Ogilvy, who has not won since 2010 and whose only prior top-10 tour finish in the past 15 months was a share of ninth at last year’s British Open.
Ogilvy opened with 13 pars before a bogey setback but a birdie at the 16th put him in the hunt.
“I played really well,” Ogilvy said. “It was frustrating with the putter. I played it great the last two days. Anything under-par out here the last two days is pretty great.
“I thought if I birdied the last two holes, I had a chance.”
Both men parred 17, setting up drama at the par-5 18th. Ogilvy gave himself a 66-foot eagle putt and was just short, settling for a birdie that kept the pressure on Thompson.
“I was braver than I really wanted at 18,” Ogilvy said.
Thompson found a greenside bunker 28 yards from the cup on his approach but blasted out to four feet and sank his birdie putt for the victory.
South African Charl Schwartzel, British player Lee Westwood, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Graham DeLaet of Canada shared ninth on 278.
World No. 2 Tiger Woods fired a final-round 74 to finish on 284, sharing 37th, despite a closing eagle. Woods also had two double-bogeys, two birdies and four bogeys in the round after firing par-70s each of the first three days.