David Lynn (left) congratulates Derek Ernst on his 1st Victory
Charlotte, North Carolina - The big story at the beginning of the week was
the poor turf conditions on the greens at Quail Hollow, this may have caused
a few mysterious last minute injury withdrawls (which allowed for double digit
alternates to gain entry into the Wells Fargo Championship). Fourth Alternate
Derek Ernst was on his way to the Web.com event earlier in the week when the
call arrived, a spot was available at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Ernst and David Lynn started the day four shots behind Phil Mickelson and Nick
Watney. The tee times on Sunday were moved up to the a.m because of incoming
inclement weather, but on this day they would get it in. The leaders battled the
cold wet conditions throughout the final round. Lynn chipped in on the 16th to
move to -8, and a tie at the top (he would go on to shoot 70 and finish at -8).
Ernst birdied the 15th, to get to -7 . . . meanwhile Mickelson couldn't muster up
much, hovering at even par for the day, but still holding a share of the lead at 8
Ernst stuck his approach from 220 yds on the the 72nd hole to get to -8 and
shoot 70 tie David Lynn. Mickelson missed a crucial par putt on the 17th to fall
back to -7. On the 18th, Lefty faced a must make from the fringe to get in the
playoff, it wouldn't go down, his Sunday 73 was a bitter disappointment. 54 hole
co-leader Nick Watney shot 76 to finish at -4.
In the playoff, Ernst was rock solid. He split the middle with his drive and
knocked the approach to 15 feet. Lynn pulled his drive, and was nearly in the
hazard . . . needing to stand on some rocks in the creek just to have a stance,
he went wayward on his approach into the right greenside bunker. His blast ran
across the green leaving another chip for his par . . . the chip failed to go down,
and all Derek Ernst had to do was two putt for the victory. Nearly holing his 15
foot birdie attempt, he tapped in for his 1st PGA Tour victory in only his eighth
Ernst reflected afterward about what it all meant to him. "The money is money,
it will come and go, but winning and having a job and playing out here for the
next two years, that's what I want to do. I want to play out here, so that is
the best part."
Instead of heading home to Las Vegas this week, he'll now be heading to TPC
Sawgrass for The Players Championship.
Final scores: http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html