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October 10 2011

12:00 AM

Molder tops Baird on sixth playoff hole

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- With 27 feet separating Briny Baird from his first career victory, Baird left his putt on the 18th hole just short of the hole meaning that he and Bryce Molder are headed to a playoff after each finished at 17 under.

Both players are trying for their first career win, though Baird has been waiting for his a lot longer with 347 career starts already under his belt coming into this week.

The first playoff hole will be the par-4 17th, followed by the par-4 18th (if needed), then the 17th again (if needed) . Molder parred the 17th earlier today, while Baird eagled it by chipping in from just off the green. Stay tuned for the play-by-play here.

9:33 p.m. ET: Molder made his birdie putt, becoming a first-time winner on the PGA TOUR. “You practice and you work … you hope some validation’s behind it,” Molder said. “I’m excited.”

9:32 p.m. ET: Want drama? Baird lagged his first putt short of the hole and had PGA TOUR rules official Mark Russell use the flagstick to determine whether he was still away – it was that close. Baird was away, and he drained his par putt.

9:28 p.m. ET: From the rough, Baird reached the front of the green, well short of the back hole location. Molder hit his stiff to about six feet. Advantage Molder, with the sun setting rapidly.

9:23 p.m. ET: On the 18th tee for the sixth hole, Briny Baird’s shot landed in the right rough while Molder’s landed safely in the fairway. Baird has 162 yards to the hole from the rough, Molder has 136 yards.

9:18 p.m. ET: Both players hit great shots onto the green of the par-4 17th. Baird was away and his eagle putt drifted just right of the cup. Molder’s went left. They both tapped in for disappointing birdies. The sixth playoff hole (again, the 18th) is next.

9:05 p.m. ET: Molder, some 80 feet from the flag, lagged his putt just past the hole to set up par. Meanwhile, Baird missed his 12-footer for the win for a par as well. And back to the 17th they go.

9 p.m. ET: With his ball nestled in some heavy grass in the hazard, Molder managed to find the front of the green with a wedge … but Baird just hit the flag on the fly and the ball settled maybe 15 feet from the hole.

8:55 p.m. ET: Baird found the fairway off the tee, while Molder just hit into the hazard left of the fairway. The ball is playable but obviously Baird has the advantage.

8:48 p.m. ET: Baird ran his putt 6 feet past and then, as Baird kept his head down unable to watch, Molder missed his eagle putt as well. After Molder tapped in, Baird calmly rolled his in to extend the playoff. Back to the 18th they go.

8:40 p.m. ET: Baird teed off first and landed on the left side of the drivable par-4 17th, where his ball stopped 57 feet from the hole. Molder? He was a bit closer, hitting his drive over the top of the flag and watching it spin back to 13 feet, 7 inches.

8:35 p.m. ET: Molder missed his putt to the right … and so did Baird as his putt caught the left edge. Back to the 17th they go.

8:30 p.m. ET: Baird hit first and stuck his approach to 7 1/2 feet, while Molder has 15 feet, 5 inches.

8:25 p.m. ET: Both players found the fairway off the tee on the par-4 18th. Advantage, no one.

8:20 p.m. ET: Almost certainly needing to get up and down from the downslope behind the green on the 18th, Baird did exactly that, pitching to 4 1/2 feet. Molder had a chance to win but he missed his 22-footer before Baird made his par putt. They’ll head to the 18th now.

8:15 p.m. ET: Baird teed off first on the drivable par-4 17th and hit his tee shot over the green and into the rough, where he’s now on a downslope. Molder, meanwhile, found the green with his tee shot stopping just 22 feet, 6 inches from the hole.

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