Martin Laird won the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in a three-way, sudden-death playoff today on the second extra hole by making a twenty-foot birdie putt on the par-three 17th hole at TPC-Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Martin Laird, Austin Cook, and Matthew Wolff were tied at 23-under par, 261, after 72 holes of regulation play, thus setting up the playoff. Laird had led the field by one shot with two holes to play. They he hit two awful iron shots way right on the two closing holes. He miraculously salvaged his par three on the 17th hole with a fifteen-foot par putt and then bogeyed the last hole to force the playoff.
The four-time PGA Tour winner overcame his last seven winless years that were plagued with injuries. And it was his second win in this tournament, with his first win being in 2009. Amazingly, Laird was no longer an exempt player and therefore got into this tournament on a sponsor’s exemption. It is very rare on the PGA Tour for a non-exempt player to win with a sponsor’s exemption.
Young, long-hitting Matthew Wolff again finished second, just as he had at the U.S. Open recently to winner Bryson DeChambeau. These two players are still the talk of the tour due to their unorthodox approaches to the game. But if they keep playing like this, what they do may become mainstream on the PGA Tour.