Hoge rallies to win at Pebble Beach for first PGA Tour title

February 7, 2022 GMT
Tom Hoge looks over the fourth green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tom Hoge looks over the fourth green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tom Hoge looks over the fourth green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tom Hoge looks over the fourth green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tom Hoge looks over the fourth green of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Another cliff-hanger at Pebble Beach, this one memorable for Tom Hoge delivering all the right shots on the back nine to surge past Jordan Spieth and win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for his first PGA Tour title.

Hoge, one of seven players who had at least a share of the lead Sunday, came within inches of holing out from the 16th fairway, tapping in for birdie to catch Spieth. Then after Spieth made bogey from the bunker on the par-3 17th, Hoge rolled in a birdie from just outside 20 feet.

He closed with a par for a 4-under 68.

Hoge, a 32-year-old who grew up in North Dakota, had been runner-up twice in his previous 202 starts on the PGA Tour, most recently at The American Express two weeks ago.

His time came amid the magnificent setting of Pebble Beach under a clear sky, and it didn’t come easily with so many players in the mix for so long.

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Spieth looked like a winner when he birdied the 12th and 13th holes, and he reached the 15th tee with a two-shot lead. But he missed a 5-foot par putt on the 17th, and only as he stood under the pine in fairway on the par-5 18th did he realize he needed an eagle.

He caught a sandy lie that left him in a fairway bunker, and the best he could do was par for a 69. Hoge had to wait for Beau Hossler, one of three players who shared the 54-hole lead, who needed eagle on the 18th to force a playoff.

Hossler sent his fairway metal right into a bunker, blasted out long and three-putted for bogey for a 71 to finish alone in third.

Hoge earned his first trip to Augusta National for the Masters, along with getting a two-year exemption. Until this year, his best season on the PGA Tour was in 2020 when he was 50th in the FedEx Cup and won just over $1.8 million.

Hoge finished at 19-under 268 and earned $1,566,000.

ASIAN TOUR

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Harold Varner III holed a 90-foot putt for eagle on the final hole to go from one shot behind to a stunning victory in the Saudi International.

Varner finished with a 1-under 69 at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club for his second victory worldwide. His other win was the Australian PGA on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Varner faced a tough task to even two-putt for birdie and force a playoff with Bubba Watson, who closed with a 64. He did one better, a putt that went from one end of the 18th green to the other. Varner threw his putter to the ground and pumped his arms to celebrate.

Varner finished at 13-under 267. He won $1 million from the $5 million prize fund, along with whatever appearance money he received from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund that attracted 21 of the top 50 players in the world.

The victory moves Varner, who was at No. 99, into the top 50 for the first time. If he can stay there for two more months, he would get to the Masters.

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Adri Arnaus of Spain had a 71 to finish three shots behind. Defending champion Dustin Johnson shot a 70 and tied for eighth.

EUROPEAN TOUR

RAS AL KHAMAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Nicolai Hojgaard won his second European Tour title when he closed with a 4-under 68 for a four-shot victory in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

The 20-year-old Dane started with a three-shot lead and appeared to be in control until a double bogey on the ninth hole, a bogey on the 12th. Jordan Smith had seven birdies in 14 holes to take a two-shot lead. Hojgaard recovered with a birdie on the 13th and an eagle from the waste area on the par-5 14th.

He closed with two birdies, a comfortable finish after a roller-coaster round.

Smith shot 66 and finished alone in second, while Haotong Li closed with a 63 and tied for third with Luka Nemecz (66), Matthieu Pavon (66) and Adrian Otaegui (67).

Hojgaard and his win brother, Rasmus, now have combined for five victories before turning 21.

KORN FERRY TOUR

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) — Carson Young kept mistakes off his card after opening with a bogey, closing with a 2-under 68 for a one-shot victory in the Panama Championship.

Young had missed the cut in his opening two events in the Bahamas on the Korn Ferry Tour. He won for the second time as a pro, adding to a LOCALiQ Series event in Florida that was put together during the pandemic in 2020 for players from the Canadian and Latin American tours.

Carl Yuan of China birdied three of his last four holes, helping him overcome a double bogey on the seventh hole. He closed with a 68 and tied for second with Jimmy Stanger (70) and Brandon Matthews (69).

The Korn Ferry Tour wraps up its international start by going to Bogota, Colombia, next week.

OTHER TOURS

Todd Sinnott closed with a 5-under 66 for a one-shot victory over Daniel Gale and Anthony Quayle in the TPS Victoria on the PGA Tour of Australasia. It was his first victory in just over five years. ... The Kit Kat Group on the Sunshine Tour was postponed to a later day when Irene Country Club had so much rain that several holes were damaged.