Homa bests weather, field for first win at Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Championship Round 3 Tee times pairings TV info	
				Sam Greenwood  Getty Images

Wells Fargo Championship Round 3 Tee times pairings TV info Sam Greenwood Getty Images

Two years after Max Homa played only one Sunday in an entire PGA Tour season, he showed his mettle at Quail Hollow by closing with a four-under 67 to pull away from the field and win the Wells Fargo Championship. He heard "Happy Birthday" at every turn, made his first birdie as a 30-year-old on hit the par-5 seventh hole and looked to be ready to make a move when he hit from a loose divot on the 12th fairway to just outside 10 feet.

That would be Geno Bonnalie, who two years ago when McIlroy parted with his caddie put out a mock application for the job on social media that began by taking credit for guiding Dahmen to a tie for 68th in the Reno-Tahoe Open.

Reeling now, the final straw came when he racked up a double bogey seven at the 10th, hooking his drive into the trees before taking three chips to find the putting surface from just short of the green, missing a six-footer.

But after a 62-minute delay, Homa calmly holed the putt in the late afternoon Charlotte sunshine.

Dufner, the 2013 PGA Championship victor who has slumped to 230th in the world rankings, matched his career low with a 63 on Friday to lead but struggled Saturday. He wrapped it up with a 10-foot par putt to finish at 15-under 269.

But McIlroy pulled it together, making birdie on the short par-4 14th hole and the reachable par-5 15th hole to claw back to within two shots of the leaders, none of whom could separate themselves from the pack coming down the stretch at Quail Hollow's hard three closing holes called the Green Mile.

England's Justin Rose was on eight under after a 68, with countryman Paul Casey a shot further back after a bogey-free 66 containing two eagles.

"I putted awesome this whole week", Homa said, "and I stood up on that putt and we had a great read, and it was great to see it go in because I think I knew my golf game was good enough to do this, (but) there's a lot of doubts because when you haven't been here". "I like how I played, I like my chances and I like where I'm standing after three days". "I don't really get too down on myself".

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Dahmen will be in the penultimate group with Perez.

The world number 417 went on to play the remaining holes in level par to secure his maiden PGA Tour win in just his 69th start, picking up a cheque for $1,422,000 and a two-year exemption.

That's when the second horn sounded to stop play. McIlroy returned and ran his birdie putt 5 feet by the hole, missed the next one and lost ground with a bogey. That was his last mistake.

McIlroy has been in contention entering the final round nearly every start on the PGA Tour this year but has only one victory - at the Players Championship in March. "And I feel like I was both of those today".

The victory moves Korhonen into the top 100 in the world and is likely to earn another trip to the PGA Championship in NY.

He held a three-shot lead during the back nine, but it dipped to one after he bogeyed No. 11. He's tied for seventh with Seamus Power at 7-under for the tournament and four behind the leaders.

Spain's Sergio Garcia shot 65 for the best score of the third round to move to 6 under for the tournament.

Homa, who won the NCAA title at Cal in 2013, won for the first time in his 68th start as a pro.

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