In the words of the great football coach Herm Edwards, “you play to win the game!” In golf, it’s no different, at least according to four-time PGA Tour winner Charley Hoffman.
Trailing by three shots late on Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone with three holes to play, he found himself with 282 yards left in for his second shot on the par-5 16th hole.
Knowing he basically needed to make eagle to have any chance at winning, Hoffman wanted to give it a go. However, his caddie Brett Waldman, wasn’t exactly too thrilled with the idea.
“I’m three back with three to play. I’m trying to win a golf tournament. I’m tired of finishing second,” Hoffman said.
Right on cue, he did this:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 6, 2017
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get it up and down for birdie. At the end of the day, Hoffman shot a 4-under 66, good enough for a solo third finish.
However, Sunday belonged to current World No. 3 Hideki Matsuyama, who fired a course-record tying 9-under par 61 to capture his second WGC title and fifth PGA Tour win.
Starting the day two shots back, the 25-year-old Japanese stud put on an absolute clinic starting with an eagle on the par-5 second, then carded three more birdies turning in 5-under. He added another bird on the par-4 13th, then stood on the 16th with the course-record in his sights.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 7, 2017
”I knew 61 was the number,” Matsuyama said through his translator. He knew the record because he played in the same group as Tiger Woods when he tied the record in 2013. ”I was thinking about that at 16. I knew if I birdied 16, 17, 18, I could get there.”
And get there he did. Matsuyama rattled off three consecutive birdies to seal the deal and shoot the lowest round at Firestone C.C. in four decades. At the end of the day, his total of 264 was good enough for a five-shot victory.
Zach Johnson finished runner-up, while the aforementioned Hoffman was in third. Rory McIlroy had another positive week ending up in a tie for fifth. Rickie Fowler also cracked the top-10 with a solo ninth. Jordan Spieth was T13.
Here’s a look at the final round highlights and results from the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone-Invitational.
The next stop on the PGA Tour is the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina.
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