Vegas baby! Rookie wins Hope in playoff

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, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Jhonattan Vegas parred the second playoff hole Sunday to defeat Gary Woodland and defending champion Bill Haas and earn his first PGA Tour victory at the Bob Hope Classic.

"This is a dream come true," Vegas said in a televised interview. "It's something you dream about, but just making it happen is something else."

Vegas and Woodland shared the fourth-round lead and both shot rounds of three-under 69 on Sunday. Haas fired a six-under 66, and the trio finished at 27-under 333 at the Palmer course at PGA West.

With Haas eliminated on the first playoff hole, Vegas and Woodland headed the par-four 10th, the hardest hole on the course. Vegas pulled his tee ball, which trickled into the water after several bounces.

Woodland changed strategies and used an iron off the tee. He safely found the short grass, but hit his approach into a right greenside bunker.

Vegas took his penalty drop and hit a beautiful third to 12 feet. Woodland caught too much ball with his bunker shot, and his ball ran close to 25 feet by the cup.

Woodland hammered his par putt, and it flew some eight feet past the hole. Vegas had his 12-footer to win the championship and poured it in for the win, the two-year exemption and an invitation to the Masters.

"Gary and Bill, it was a good playoff," Vegas said. "But hey, thank God, I appreciate it."

The path to the playoff was an interesting one.

Vegas held a one-stroke lead after an odd back nine. Long known as a birdie-fest, Vegas stayed atop the leaderboard on the second nine thanks to several clutch par saves, and none was bigger than the 17th. He made an eight-foot save to keep his one-shot cushion.

The par-five 18th was cruel for Haas. He reached the green in two, but he three-putted for a par to sign his scorecard and trail by just a single stroke.

Vegas drove right off the tee and was forced to lay up. Woodland, who was two behind his playing partner, found some light rough, but, even with a tough lie, could go for it in two.

His second was right at the target, but moved just right of the green. After a good lay up, Vegas played his third 45 feet short of the flagstick. Woodland's chip for eagle came up just short, but he left himself just two feet for birdie.

Vegas knocked his birdie putt for the win nine feet past the hole. He needed to make that to avoid a playoff, but his ball never threatened the hole. It was left the whole way, but Woodland made his little birdie try to make it a three-man playoff.

Haas was eliminated on the first playoff hole, the par-five 18th. After a drive into the right rough, Haas came up short with his second, but was undone by an indifferent pitch. He left himself 25 feet for birdie, but his opponents were in much closer.

Vegas missed right with his second, but his pitch hit the hole and stopped three feet from the stick. Woodland played a beautiful second that just ran through the back of the green. He chipped to the tricky five-foot area.

Haas came up short with his birdie effort. Woodland holed the gutsy birdie putt, then Vegas did the same, sending Haas packing and the two to the par-four 10th.

It was there that Vegas earned his first PGA Tour victory in only his second start as a member of the tour.

"I'm happy as I can be in life," Vegas said on television.

Ryan Palmer carded an eight-under 64 and finished fourth at 26-under 334.

Brian Gay fired a 10-under 62 to tie for fifth with Kevin Na, who posted a five-under 67. The duo came in at minus-25.

Chris Couch (66), Matt Kuchar (68), Keegan Bradley (70) and Chris Kirk (70) shared seventh place at 23-under 337.

NOTES: This event was played over four courses the first four rounds before Palmer Private at PGA West on Sunday...Haas could have joined Johnny Miller as the only back-to-back winners of this championship...The PGA Tour continues its West Coast swing next week in San Diego, California for the Farmers Insurance Open, where Ben Crane captured the event last year.


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