Planet Golf — 21 January 2017 by GW staff and news services
Swafford builds Career with victory

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Hudson Swafford won the fittingly named CareerBuilder Challenge on Sunday for his first PGA TOUR title, following three straight birdies with a closing par for a one-stroke victory.

Swafford shot a 5-under 67 on the Stadium Course at PGA West to finish the three-course, pro-am event at 20-under 268. The 29-year-old former University of Georgia player earned $1,044,000 and his first spot in the Masters.

Adam Hadwin came back with a 70 after his third-round 59 to finish second. Brian Harman and Bud Cauley each shot 69 to tie for third at 18 under.

Swafford tied Cauley for the lead with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th, then pulled away on the 16th and 17th — a day after he dropped three strokes on the holes.

On the par-5 16th, he hit a 3-wood to 12 feet — staying out of the 18-foot-deep bunker that he hit into Saturday en route to a double bogey — and two-putted to take the outright lead. He hit to 1 1/2 feet on the par-3 17th, with the rocky island green called Alcatraz, but playing partner Hadwin made a 15-footer to stay within a stroke.

Swafford found the fairway on the par-4 18th with water along the left side, then avoided the water again with an approach to the right side of the green. He lagged his 20-footer to 2 inches for the victory.

Hadwin’s final drive settled in the dormant grass an inch from the green rough and his approach stayed right and settled into thick dormant rough. The Canadian saved par to finish second alone.

Five strokes behind leader Chad Campbell after five holes, Swafford birdied Nos. 7-9 to join Campbell and Hadwin atop the leaderboard.

Campbell holed out from 108 yards for eagle on the par-5 fifth, then made a triple bogey on the par-3 sixth — hitting into the water and three-putting. He finished with a 71 to tie for sixth at 16 under.

Phil Mickelson shot a 70 to tie for a 21st at 11 under in the 46-year-old Hall of Famer’s return from two sports hernia surgeries.

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