How it happened: Gay wins Humana in playoff

Brian Gay hits a tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Humana Challenge.

Brian Gay hits a tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Humana Challenge.

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Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Avondale, LA - TPC Louisiana

2:46:09 AM ET. 04/25/2014




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LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Brian Gay birdied the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Humana Challenge on Sunday, capping a dramatic comeback that earned him his fourth career PGA Tour victory.

Gay beat Charles Howell III playing the par-4 10th hole after the pair birdied the par-5 18th hole. David Lingmerth was a part of the playoff, but was eliminated on the 18th.

Gay overcame a six-shot deficit to Scott Stallings by firing a 9-under 63, with nine birdies coming in his first 13 holes.

Coming into the week, Gay had $15,797,189 in career earnings. He made only $960,658 in 2012, with three top-10 finishes and 10 missed cuts.

Stallings fired a 2-under 70, but lost a five-shot lead over the field and failed to get into the playoff by missing an 8-footer for par on the par-5 18th hole.

Here's how it happened:

• • •

Update #37: 7:40 p.m. EST

Howell can't get his par putt to drop and Gay slides his 4-footer in for a birdie to cap a dramatic victory at the Palmer Private Course.

• • •

Update #36: 7:35 p.m. EST

Charles Howell hits a solid bunker shot, but leaves himself about 8 feet to save par.

• • •

Update #35: 7:28 p.m. EST

From just over 160 yards, Howell flies over the flag and puts himself in a greenside bunker. A tough up-and-down coming up.

Moments later, Gay has 135 yards into the hole and puts it about 4 feet under the hole.

Advantage Brian Gay.

• • •

Update #35: 7:28 p.m. EST

Charles Howell III bombs a drive that somehow bounds through a fairway bunker and settles in the rough. Gay meanwhile splits the fairway.

• • •

Update #34: 7:24 p.m. EST

Gay knocks his birdie putt in to put pressure on Howell, but Howell is up to the task and the two are headed to another playoff hole.

Lingmerth is eliminated.

• • •

Update #33: 7:23 p.m. EST

Howell III doesn't hit his eagle putt hard enough and comes up about 3 feet short, coming to rest nearly on Gay's mark on the green.

• • •

Update #32: 7:19 p.m. EST

Lingmerth flies the green with his fourth, while Gay hits a nice chip to about 3 feet for birdie.

• • •

Update #31: 7:16 p.m. EST

Gay finds the right rough with his second shot, Howell III has about 20 feet for eagle and Lingmerth hooks his second shot into the water. Advantage Howell.

• • •

Update #30: 7:09 p.m. EST

Charles Howell III bombs a drive that kicks out of the rough on the right and into the middle of the fairway. Brian Gay smacks one up the left side of the fairway, as does David Lingmerth. All should be able to attack in two.

• • •

Update #29: 7:02 p.m. EST

And Scott Stallings won't be a part of the playoff, as he pushes his putt to the right and he fires a 2-under 70 to fall back to 24 under and one shot outside of the playoff.

Charles Howell III, David Lingmerth and Brian Gay are headed to overtime.

• • •

Update #28: 6:56 p.m. EST

Stallings hits a low-liner for his chip and leaves himself 8 feet for par and earn a spot in a four-man playoff.

• • •

Update #27: 6:51 p.m. EST

Scott Stallings will now be hoping to stay in the playoff after hitting his second left of the green and into the water. He'll need to get up-and-down for par to stay at 25 under. He'll be chipping from greenside.

• • •

Update #26: 6:45 p.m. EST

Charles Howell III can't take advantage of a nice first putt from 85 feet, missing a 5-footer and settles for par. A four-way tie remains, with Stallings in the middle of the fairway on No. 18.

• • •

Update #25: 6:35 p.m. EST

Howell hits the green in two at the par-5 18th, but will have nearly 85 feet for eagle. He'll have a couple of ridges to go over as well.

Meanwhile, Stallings can't get his birdie attempt to the hole on the par-3 17th and leaves himself 3 feet for a par. He does make it to stay tied for the lead, at least for the moment.

• • •

Update #24: 6:31 p.m. EST

Of those in the four-way tie for the lead, only Scott Stallings and Charles Howell III are still on the course. Stallings has a long birdie attempt on No. 17, while Howell is playing the par-5 18th.

• • •

Update #23: 6:29 p.m. EST

Brian Gay cards a 9-under 63 to finish at 25 under and is now tied for the lead with three others after Scott Stallings bogeys No. 16. Charles Howell III and David Lingmerth are also tied at 25 under.

• • •

Update #22: 6:15 p.m. EST

Going to be an intense final three holes in La Quinta, as Charles Howell III is now just one behind with three to play, while Brian Gay is playing the par-5 18th also one shot back of Scott Stallings.

• • •

Update #21: 6:06 p.m. EST

David Lingmerth now has the lowest score in the clubhouse, picking up birdie at No. 18 to get to 25 under. Stallings will now need to hold steady at 26 under to win this championship.

• • •

Update #20: 5:51 p.m. EST

James Hahn, the 18- and 36-hole co-leader, finished his round with an eagle on No. 18 to fire a 10-under 62 and is currently T-3 at 24 under.

• • •

Update #19: 5:46 p.m. EST

That is three consecutive pars for Brian Gay, who is in desperate need of a birdie to put some pressure on Scott Stallings. Gay moves to the par-3 17th.

• • •

Update #18: 5:39 p.m. EST

Brian Gay couldn't take advantage of the par-5 14th hole and just parred the par-3 15th hole and remains one shot back of Scott Stallings. He has a par-4, par-3 and par-5 ahead of him.

• • •

Update #17: 5:31 p.m. EST

Scott Stallings remains one shot ahead of Brian Gay after back-to-back pars on Nos. 12 and 13. David Lingmerth has moved to two shots back, but he has only two holes to play. He'll need to birdie out and hope for some help.

• • •

Update #16: 5:08 p.m. EST

Another birdie for Scott Stallings moves him back into the lead at 26 under, as Stallings takes advantage of the par-5 11th to take a one-shot lead over Brian Gay.

• • •

Update #15: 4:58 p.m. EST

While they aren't threatening the leaders, there are a pair of nice rounds on the course right now. Bob Estes is 9 under through 15 holes (20 under overall) and Matt Jones is also 9 under playing his final hole of the day (20 under overall).

• • •

Update #14: 4:51 p.m. EST

Well, that lead didn't last long. Brian Gay birdies No. 13 to also get to 25 under and is now 9 under on his round.

• • •

Update #13: 4:48 p.m. EST

With a birdie at No. 10, Scott Stallings is back atop the leaderboard, one shot clear of Brian Gay and two of Nicholas Thompson. Stallings' bogey at No. 7 was his first of the tournament.

• • •

Update #12: 4:34 p.m. EST

Kevin Chappell finishes his brilliant round with a bogey to finish with a 10-under 62 and is currently T-4 at 22 under. With that bogey, Nicholas Thompson (Lexi's brother) has moved into solo third. Thompson is 8 under on his round (through 13 holes).

• • •

Update #11: 4:27 p.m. EST

We now have a tie for the lead after Brian Gay adds his eighth birdie of the day at the 11th hole to move to 24 under, tied with Scott Stallings.

• • •

Update #10: 4:18 p.m. EST

Kevin Chappell is back to T-2 with a birdie at No. 8 and is now 11 under on his round and 23 under overall. He moves to the par-4 9th hole (his final hole of the day) an eagle-2 away from golf's magic number.

• • •

Update #9: 4:15 p.m. EST

The leaderboard is getting overcrowded, with Kevin Chappell, Nicholas Thompson, David Lingmerth and Charles Howell III all at 22 under, while Brian Gay is one better at 23 under. Leader Scott Stallings is only 2 under on his round and at 24 under.

• • •

Update #8: 4:05 p.m. EST

Brian Gay continues his hot play, picking up a birdie on No. 10 to move to within a shot of the lead. Gay is 7 under on the round and 23 under on the tournament.

He was T-31 at the Sony Open last week.

• • •

Update #7: 3:55 p.m. EST

It's getting interesting in La Quinta, as Scott Stallings drops a shot at the par-4 7th hole to fall back to 24 under, only two shots clear of Kevin Chappell and Brian Gay.

• • •

Update #6: 3:44 p.m. EST

Kevin Chappell is now 10 under on his round and has three holes to play. He is T-2 at 22 under. He started on the back nine, made the turn in 6-under 30 and has four more birdies through six holes on the front nine.

• • •

Update #5: 3:34 p.m. EST

Brian Gay has moved into second alone with a birdie at No. 8. He's 6 under on the day and 22 under for the tournament. Gay has only two bogeys over his first 62 holes in the tournament.

• • •

Update #4: 3:31 p.m. EST

Phil Mickelson is enjoying his best round of the tournament, going 4 under through his first 10 holes to get to 15 under overall, but is still 10 shots back of Scott Stallings.

• • •

Update #3: 3:24 p.m. EST

James Hahn, who held a share of the 18- and 36-hole lead, is 5 under through nine holes and has moved to 19 under. Meanwhile, Nicholas Thompson and David Lingmerth are both 6 under on their rounds to move to 21 under and are in a four-way tie for second, behind Scott Stallings at 25 under.

• • •

Update #2: 3:20 p.m. EST

Scott Stallings is 3 under through his first five holes to move to 25 under, while Kevin Chappell is enjoying the round of the day by going 9 under through his first 13 holes, moving to 21 under.

• • •

Update #1: 12:30 p.m. EST

The weather is yet again beautiful in southern California, with forecasts calling for a high of 78 degrees, no chance or rain and a light wind of up to 6 mph. Today will be all about the golf.

Some big names will be on the course early, with Phil Mickelson set to tee off in about 10 minutes, more than an hour before the final group will tee it up.

Check out tee times and pairings here.

• • •

Round 3 coverage

CLOSING IN: Scott Stallings wants another crack at Augusta National after playing through torn rib cartilage at last year's Masters. A win Sunday at the Humana Challenge – Stallings holds a five-shot lead – would give him that chance. Story.

ANOTHER CHANCE: Charles Howell III will start the final round of the Humana Challenge today in what has become a familiar spot early in the season: a chance to win. Story.

A FAMILIAR NAME: It's been nearly four years since Stewart Cink won the 2009 Open Championship. But swing changes and all, the slumping Cink finds himself in contention after three rounds of the Humana Challenge. Story.

TRACKER: Scott Stallings carded a 9-under 63 Saturday to build a five-shot lead entering Sunday's final round of the Humana Challenge. See how it all unfolded in the California desert.

• • •

Round 2 coverage

IN THE MIX: Russell Henley turned in the highest score of his rookie PGA Tour Season Friday at the Humana Challenge: a 69. Life is pretty good right now for the rookie, who is in contention in La Quinta. Story.

TRACKER: Roberto Castro and James Hahn held onto the lead after Friday's second round of the Humana Challenge, while Phil Mickelson turned things around. See how it happened.

• • •

Round 1 coverage

TRACKER: There are plenty of big names at the Humana Challenge this week, including Phil Mickelson, but three not-so-big names – Roberto Castro, James Hahn and Jason Kokrak – lead after the first round. Story.

LONG HISTORY: Former President Bill Clinton was at the Humana again because his foundation is a tournament partner and beneficiary. Long before his association here, though, he was no stranger to Tour players. Story.

UNDER THE WEATHER: Phil Mickelson battled the lingering effects of a cold to notch an even-par 72 during the first round of the Humana Challenge. But despite the low energy, Lefty says he's got a low round in him for Friday. Story.

KEEP IT SIMPLE: Watching Russell Henley (an 8-under 64) march up the Humana Challenge leaderboard Thursday, one question comes to mind: Will his ascent continue? He's trying to keep things simple. Story.

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

THE ODDS: Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Tim Clark and Phil Mickelson have been installed as 15/1 favorites at the Humana Challenge, while Rory McIlroy is a slight favorite over Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi. Story.

ATTACK MODE: Russell Henley might be 23, but he is wise beyond his years, learning that you must keep the pedal to the metal if you hope to succeed on the PGA Tour. Story.

NOT 'DISAPPOINTED:' Sure, David Toms wanted to be the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but he believes "everything happens for a reason." And the PGA Tour veteran has plenty to keep himself occupied as he looks for another shot in 2016. Story.

PREDICTIONS: Phil Mickelson returns to action this week, and yes, he is picked by one of our panelists. But there are five different favorites on our radar for the PGA Tour's Humana Challenge this week . . . Tip Sheet.

COMEBACK: The Humana Challenge, formerly the Bob Hope Classic, has staged a remarkable comeback in the past two years. Story.

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