Swafford snares another PGA Tour victory

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Hudson Swafford has won PGA Tour event in La Quinta, California, for the second time in five years, breaking a late tie with an eagle.

Swafford was a winner by two shots on PGA West’s Stadium Course after beginning the day three strokes behind rookie co-leaders Lee Hodges and Paul Barjon.

Tied for the lead with Brian Harman and Francesco Molinari at 20 under, Swafford pulled ahead with the eagle on the par-5 16th.

From 198 yards, he hit to 8 feet on the iconic hole with large, deep bunkers lining the left side.

Swafford then ran in a 20-foot birdie putt on 17, a par-3 hole called Alcatraz with an island green ringed by jagged rocks.

His only par on the back nine arrived on the 18th, with an 8-foot putt wrapping up the win and a spot at the Masters.

The 34-year-old finished at 23-under 265 in the three-course event for his third PGA Tour title.

“I’ve fallen in love with this place,” Swafford said.

“This is kind of my west coast home, honestly.”

He also won in the desert in 2017 and the 2020 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.

Tom Hoge shot a 68 to be second — coming up short of a maiden title in his 201st career start.

Hodges, in just his 14th PGA Tour start, carded a 70 to tie for third at 20 under with Harman (64) and Lanto Griffin (67).

Molinari, the Italian star who won the 2018 British Open, bogeyed the 18th for a 68 to sharesixth with Will Zalatoris (67) and Denny McCarthy (67).

Fourth-ranked Patrick Cantaly, the half-way leader, shot a 68 to finish ninth with Frenchman Barjon (73) rounding out the top 10.

Australian Jason Day had a roller-coaster front nine in his final round, with four birdies offset by two bogeys and a double bogey, although he did pick up two shots coming home for a 70 to jump 10 places to a tie for 49th at 9 under.

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