Phil Mickelson had another chance on Sunday to finally get a win at The Wells Fargo Championship, but The Green Mile at Quail Hollow would again be his downfall. On a day that the guys from Duck Dynasty would love to have for some duck hunting, Mickelson bogeyed the 16th and 17th hole to fall out of contention for a playoff spot that was needed to find a winner.
Mickelson, and his 54 hole co-leader, Nick Watney both fell on hard times in the rain, and windy conditions at the Charlotte, North Carolina golf course. Lefty finished with at one over par 73, and Watney fared even worse as he shot a 4 over par 76 and fell into a tie for tenth place at -4 under for the week.
Derek Ernst, a 22 year-old University of Nevada star from Woodlands, California would take advantage of the situation along with European Tour regular, David Lynn and shoot matching -2 under par 70’s to finish in a tie at -8 under par. They went back to the 18th tee, and Ernst made a par to win his firs PGA event.
Ernst, who will turn 23 next week, and has only made two cuts all year was a fourth alternate and is already projected in 32nd place on the FedEx Cup points list. His total earnings for 2013 prior to his win on Sunday was $28,000 with the two cuts he made at The Sony Open, and finishing tied for 47th place last week at The Zürich Classic.
Not only will the $1,170,000 dollar first prize at The Wells Fargo completely change his life, but he now has status on the tour, and an invitation to Augusta next April to play in the Masters. He will also have to change his plans for next week so he can tee it up at The Players Championship.
David Lynn, who was also looking for his first tour win hit his tee shot on the first playoff hole into the tall grass that guards the creek that runs down the left side of the fairway. His approach shot went into the green side bunker to the right of the green, and he flew the green on the subsequent bunker shot. Ernst however, had driven the center of the fairway, and put his second shot on the green, at 15 feet. He watched as Lynn made a mess of the hole, and two-putted for a par, and his first win.
Several golfers were caught up in a secondary cut Saturday evening to pare the field because of the inclement weather including defending 2012 Wells Fargo Champion, Rickie Fowler.
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