(Reuters) - Bryson DeChambeau beat South Korean An Byeong-hun and fellow American Kyle Stanley in a three-way playoff to win the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio on Sunday as Tiger Woods’s victory hopes fell apart on the back nine.
Overnight leader DeChambeau drained a 12-foot downhill birdie putt at the second playoff hole, the par-four 18th, at Muirfield Village Golf Club while An settled for a par. Stanley was eliminated after a bogey at the first extra hole.
“I can’t even describe it,” DeChambeau, who shot a one-under-par 71 for a 15-under 273, told reporters at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted event. “Just to win his event is an honor. He’s the greatest to play. I’m speechless, honestly.”
DeChambeau, who began the day with a one-shot lead, had a chance in regulation to secure his second win on the PGA Tour but his celebration was put on hold after he missed his par putt from eight feet at the last.
After missing the green from the fairway at the 18th on the first extra hole, DeChambeau returned and stuck his approach to 12 feet before sinking the putt for his first PGA Tour title since his breakthrough win at last July’s John Deere Classic.
Stanley (70) appeared out of contention when a double-bogey at the par-three 12th left him five shots off the lead, but four consecutive birdies from the 14th, coupled with a bogey at 14 by DeChambeau, gave him a two-way share of the lead.
An (69), who was playing in the penultimate group, birdied two of his final four holes in regulation and only got into the playoff after DeChambeau and Stanley each bogeyed the 18th.
Although the 26-year-old South Korean fell short of a maiden PGA Tour title, he left Muirfield Village upbeat for the rest of the season.
“It is the best finish so far this season which is good,” An said. “I am playing pretty well. Hitting it well, putting well and so I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Patrick Cantlay opened the final round with birdies on four of his first eight holes to take the lead but played his last 10 holes in three-over-par to finish one shot short of the playoff.
Woods began his day five shots behind DeChambeau and made an early move with an opening birdie followed by another at the par-five fifth that brought him to 11 under and within three shots of the lead.
But after a bogey-birdie start to the back nine, five-times winner Woods dropped another shot at the par-four 13th where his drive went out of bounds and all but ended his hopes of an 80th PGA Tour victory.
Woods, in his last start before the June 14-17 U.S. Open, closed with an even-par 72 that left him six shots off the lead and in a share on 23rd place.
“I had some chances to shoot some good rounds this week,” Woods said. “Overall, my game is where it needs to be heading into the U.S. Open, which is a positive.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond