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Abraham Ancer won FedEx St. Jude Invitational for first PGA Tour title

MEMFIS, Tenn. – When Abraham Ancer halfway through its final round of the FedEx St. Looking at the scoreboard at Jude Invitational, it was hard to imagine him celebrating his first PGA Tour event in a few hours.

Third round leader Harris Engels was at 20 under. Ancer, who played the 10th hole, was 5 strokes behind at TOC Southwind.

“Did I say [my caddie]”Harris is running with it, I need to make some birdies, I need to take a step,” Ancer said.

The 30-year-old Mexican player did not run a string of birdies, but he played steady, golf-free golf and won his first title — in his 121st start — which defeated the Master Champion Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns with a 6-foot birdie on the second hole of a playoff game.

“It was a dream come true to win at the PGA Tour,” said Ancer.

Ancer won the World Golf Championship event after Burns’ 5½-foot putt fell on the same line as Ancer.

“It’s surreal,” said Ancer, a former Oklahoma University player who was born in McAllen, Texas. “I felt like I left so many shots on the back nine, but you never know.”

Ancer, who finished second at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, played more aggressively on the second extra ride in the par-4 18th.

“I got it right, and the shot played perfectly in my mind, and I found out exactly how I imagined it,” he said.

English, the leader after each of the first three rounds, struggled on the back nine to give Ancer, Burns and Matsuyama a chance.

English makes a double bogey 5 at number 11 after hitting his tee shot in the water.

“I played well on the top nine and only hit a roadblock at 11,” he said. ‘I got the wind [reading] wrong and it decreased from there. “

Ancer closes with a 2-under 68 to match Matsuyama and Burns at 16-under 264. Matsuyama shot a 63, and Burns had a 64. English, the 2013 champion at TPC Southwind, was a setback to a 73.

On the first extra hole, Ancer, Burns and Matsuyama, who lost a bronze medal during the Tokyo Olympics, scored proper runs at birdies. Matsuyama had the shortest attempt – from 20 feet – and it almost went into the cup before he started.

“It’s hard to lose in a playoff game,” Matsuyama said. ‘But I could not hit one of the tee shots on the fairway [in the playoff]. I did my best.

English was looking for the fifth title of his career – and third this season – but crashed in the back nine. In front with 2 strokes at 20 down at the turn, he plays the back nine in 5 overs. He missed an 18-foot-by-18 birdie.

Ancer made only one birdie on the back nine.

“It was definitely a surprise to win,” Ancer said. ‘I could not believe I was level with the lead [No. 16]. I thought I was 4 behind. But you never know in golf. “

Bryson DeChambeau, 2 strokes behind English after a third round 63, has a 74 to equal eighth at 12 under. He missed the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.

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