Danny Willett three-putted the 18th green from inside four feet after watching Max Homa hole a chip as the 34-year-old Yorkshireman missed out on the PGA Tour’s Fortinet Championship title by a shot.
Willett was a stroke ahead of the defending champion and looked set to win as he lay three feet from the pin while the American faced a tough chip. But Homa chipped in for birdie, meaning the ex-Masters champion now needed to hole his birdie putt to win. Willett missed – and also the five-foot putt back that would have led to a play-off.
“It was obviously a disappointing way to finish, but you know, it was the first event of the season, so to be in contention shows that my overall game is in a good place. We’ll live to fight another day,” said Willett, who shot a closing 69 to finish on 15 under.
On Homa’s chip-in birdie from below the green, he added: “I expected him to do it, but then it’s still a bit of a shock when it happens.”
The late turnaround means Willett remains in search of a first PGA Tour title since his 2016 Masters victory.
“It was kind of a wild finish,” said Homa, who carded a final-round 68 at Silverado Resort in California. “The last three minutes are kind of a blur. But I played really good golf. I played solid.”
American Taylor Montgomery, making his fifth tour start, shot the best round of the day with an eight-birdie 64 to surge up the leaderboard and finish third. Rickie Fowler showed signs he is returning to form with a share of sixth place after a closing 69, while Belgium’s Thomas Detry continued to impress as he finished joint 12th.