Matteson wins Arizona Open in three-way playoff
Phoenix: Troy Matteson won his second PGA Tour title in a three-way playoff for the Arizona Open on Sunday after shrugging off a faltering finish to the final round.
Having bogeyed the last two holes for a closing two-under-par 68, the American sealed victory after a spectacular six-iron approach to two feet at the second extra hole at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.
The 29-year-old calmly knocked in the birdie putt to trump the pars recorded there by compatriots Rickie Fowler and Jamie Lovemark, who also finished the 72 regulation holes on 18-under 262.
PGA Tour rookies Fowler and Lovemark had each signed off with a 64, Lovemark coming from four shots behind overnight with a sizzling run of five birdies in the last eight holes.
All three parred the first extra hole, Lovemark flirting with danger when he pushed his approach into water guarding the green before his ball remarkably hopped out on to dry land.
"It`s unbelievable because you just don`t think it`s coming sometimes," a smiling Matteson said of his win in a greenside interview after punching his right fist skywards in celebration.
He clinched his first title on the US circuit at the 2006 Las Vegas Open in his rookie season.
"It`s just undescribable this week," Matteson added. "Playing as bad as I did on Thursday and then having the last three days go the way they did, I am beside myself."
He opened with a 72 at Grayhawk before stringing together successive 61s, a PGA Tour record for consecutive rounds.
Three ahead at the start of another sunny day in the Arizona desert, Matteson appeared to have the title firmly in his grasp after fending off a strong challenge by Fowler.
He had slipped a stroke behind the 20-year-old Fowler with eight holes to go before regaining control with birdies at the 11th and 12th.
Matteson parred the next four holes to lead by two but then bogeyed 17 after finding the right rough off the tee.
At the last, he struck a perfect drive before surprisingly pulling his approach into a greenside bunker from where he splashed out to 10 feet and missed the par putt.
Fowler, who turned professional after last month`s Walker Cup, had victory firmly in his sights when he aced the par-three fifth on the way to an outward nine of four-under 31.
He picked up further shots on 10, 11 and 12 to edge a stroke in front of Matteson before bogeying two of the last six holes.
"I`m pretty excited about the week," he said. "If you would have told me I was gonna be in a playoff with a chance to win Sunday afternoon, I would have jumped on that in a heartbeat."
"I got out to a great start this morning and topped that off with a hole-in-one, so that was pretty special."
"The more playoffs you`re in I think the more comfortable you feel," added Fowler, who was also beaten in a playoff on the satellite Nationwide Tour earlier this year.
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