Conditions at Colonial were extremely difficult Sunday, but Emiliano Grillo ended up getting the last laugh with an excellent tee shot on the par-3 16th, which served as the second playoff hole, and the Argentinian won his first PGA Tour event in more than seven years with a victory in the Charles Schwab Challenge 2023.
“Obviously, it’s great. It made everything worth it,” said Grillo, the 30-year-old whose first win came at Silverado in 2015. “The playing, all the hours practicing, the effort from my family.”
Rookie Harry Hall had at least a share of the lead after the first three rounds, but a 73 on Sunday left him one shot short of the playoff. Grillo, who shot a 68 on Sunday, could’ve taken home the title in regulation but a terrible break on the 18th hole led to a double-bogey and a tie with Adam Schenk at 8-under 272.
Grillo’s tee shot on 18 rolled into a shallow stream of water pooled on a sidewalk, and the ball took a five-minute journey nearly back to the tee box. Schenk parred the hole to tie. Hall had a chance to reach the playoff as well, but his tee shot on the final hole found water.
“I’ve got 162 points in the FedExCup after this week. If you’d given that to me at the start of the week, I would have taken it,” Hall said. “I learned a lot, and you don’t have to play great golf to win on a hard golf course coming down the stretch. You’ve just got to hit it in the middle of the green and not do anything stupid.”
After Grillo and Schenk parred the first playoff hole, Grillo’s shot on the par-3 16th would up within five feet of the pin.
Schenk, whose tee shot landed on the green when he played the hole in regulation, took the same 8-iron out. This time, however, a lack of wind in his face caused the ball to sail the green.
He wound up chipping the ball to within a few feet of the cup to set up par, but he never got a chance to follow up because Grillo sank his birdie putt for the win.
“It makes you think when you started playing all the emotions come through your head,” Grillo said. “It’s been tough, but it’s worth every second.”
“It was probably the hardest round of golf I’ve played,” said Schenk, who added a second runner-up finish to his credit while still searching for his first win. “The course is hard for everybody, but it was pushed to the limits.”
Tournament favorite Scottie Scheffler, while not winning, continued his run of strong finishes by tying for third with Hall. Scheffler tied for the best score of the day with a 67, which included a hole-in-one on No. 8. A bogey on 16, however, cost him a chance at joining the playoff. Paul Haley II finished in fifth at -6.
The Memorial Tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is a Designated Event featuring the top stars from the PGA Tour. Billy Horschel is the defending champion at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Ohio. Two-time winner Patrick Cantlay, 2020 champion Jon Rahm, and Scottie Scheffler—who will be playing in his fourth-straight tournament—are among those in the strong field.
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