Sebastian Munoz attempting to win in back-to-back weeks

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Sebastian Munoz attempting to win in back-to-back weeks

PGA Tour

Sebastian Munoz attempting to win in back-to-back weeks

By

NAPA, Calif. – A week ago, Sebastian Munoz drilled a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff and notched his first career PGA Tour victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship in a sudden-death playoff over Sungjae Im. Now Munoz is going for the rare feat of two in a row.

Munoz shot a second straight 5-under 67 to vault into the final pairing at the Safeway Open. The 26-year-old from Bogota, Colombia, improved to 11-under 205 and in a three-way tie for second, trailing only leader Cameron Champ by three strokes in his bid to win in consecutive starts.

SAFEWAY OPEN: ScoresTee times, TV info | Photos

When asked if he’s ever won back to back, Munoz said he’s never turned that trick.

First time for everything? “Yeah, totally,” he said with a smile.

It doesn’t happen often. Bryson DeChambeau is the last player on the PGA Tour to win in consecutive weeks, doing so in 2018 at the Northern Trust and Dell Technologies Championship. Xander Schauffele won the WGC HSBC Champions in November and his next start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January. (Schauffele skipped several tournaments in between).

Neither of those instances of going back-to-back jumped to Munoz’s mind; instead, he recalled the time his fellow countryman Camilo Villegas won two FedEx Cup Playoff events in a row at the 2008 BMW Championship and Tour Championship.

“I should have been in the eighth grade,” Munoz said. “I do remember he beat Sergio in a playoff in Atlanta.”

Munoz needed overtime to celebrate his maiden victory in Mississippi and did so with friends – “had a couple of drinks, just had a good time,” he said – and said he was “pretty gassed” by the time he teed off on Thursday in one of the premier pairings with Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott and started slowly.

“After a couple of holes I felt confident again and a little more relaxed,” said Munoz, who opened with a 71 before carding a 67 Friday to move up the leaderboard, “and towards the end I was already me again.”

On a wind-blown day, Munoz, who played his college golf at North Texas, signed for another 67 at the Silverado Resort and Spa’s North Course.

What’s clicked for Munoz? He says it’s pretty simple. A late-season surge, which included making his last six cuts in 2018-19, lifted him to No. 124 at the conclusion of the FedEx Cup regular season and secured his card.

“That was a huge relief for me,” he said. “I’ve been able to play a little more aggressive, a little more free, not worrying about, you know, like I need these points…I’m just playing a little more fun, a little more loose and having fun.”

Latest

More Golfweek
Home