Landry birdies final two holes to win The American Express
January 19, 2020
By Associated Press
- January 19, 2020
Andrew Landry birdies No. 18 to clinch win at The American Express
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Andrew Landry regrouped to win The American Express after losing a six-stroke lead on the back nine Sunday.
Landry broke a tie with Abraham Ancer with a 7-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole and made a 6-footer on the par-4 18th for a 5-under 67 and a two-stroke victory.
"That was probably the shot of the tournament for me," Landry said about the 17th. "Just to be able to go over there and, to that right hole location, and just hold one up and hit a good distance and have a 7-, 8-footer to look at. ... Thankfully, it went in and kind of made 18 a little bit easier."
Landy won the pro-am event at PGA West two years ago after losing a playoff to Jon Rahm.
"This is a golf course that has suited me very well in the past," Landry said. "And just to look back on some of the things that happened a couple years ago and then now, just to be able to finally get it done. I didn't want to have to go back into a playoff again and we're running out of daylight, so it's good to finally get the job done again."
The 32-year-old Texan has two PGA TOUR victories, also winning the 2018 Valero Texas Open. He jumped up 161 spots to 17th in the FedExCup standings.
"That's why you just got to keep grinding it out," Landry said. "We all search for these weeks, and the majority of players out here are going to have them, four, five, six times a year and top-10 players are going to have them a little bit more often. So, these are the weeks that we search for and we just continue to just play our ball and keep doing what we do, and hopefully they come sooner than later."
Trying to become the third Mexican winner in PGA TOUR history and first since 1978, Ancer matched the Stadium Course record with a 63. Playing two groups ahead of Landry, Ancer birdied the par-5 16th and the island-green 17th and parred the 18th.
"All week, really, I hit the ball great off the tee and iron shots, and in the first three rounds, I feel like I didn't score as low as I should have for how good I hit the ball," Ancer said. "But stayed patient and today the putts started to fall in."
Playing two groups ahead of Landry, Ancer birdied No. 16 and 17 and parred the 18th, missing from 35 feet and saving par with a 4 1/2-footer.
He realized he was tied for lead just before teeing off on 17.
"I wasn't paying much attention to the leaderboard," Ancer said. "And then that's when I noticed and I was like, `All right, well, we got to make two other birdies.' I made the putt there on 17, which was big, and then just couldn't make it happen on 18. But I played good, man. I'm proud of how I played."
After missing the cut in seven of his first eight starts this season, Landry appeared to be cruising to victory when he birdied the first three holes on the back nine to open the six-shot lead. But he bogeyed the next three holes, made a par on the 16th that felt like another bogey, and was tied when Ancer ran in a 25-footer on 17.
Landry finished at 26-under 262. He opened with a 66 on the Stadium Course, shot 64 in the second round at La Quinta Country Club and had a 65 on Saturday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course for a share of the third-round lead with Scottie Scheffler -- four strokes ahead of third-place Rickie Fowler.
The anticipated duel between Landy and Scheffler fizzled on the first six holes.
Scheffler bogeyed the par-4 first after his drive rolled back down a hill into a large divot. He also dropped strokes on the par-5 fifth and long par-3 sixth to fall four strokes behind Landry. On the water-guarded fifth, his aggressive play with a fairway wood from a downhill lie near a right-side bunker went well left and, after a long chip, he missed a 3-footer for par. He also failed to get up-down-for par on the 234-yard sixth hole after hooking his tee shot.
Scheffler shot 70, briefly giving Landry a scare with an eagle on 16, to finish third at 23 under. The 23-year-old former University of Texas player is in his first season on the PGA TOUR after winning twice and topping the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and overall points lists last season.
Fowler had a 71 in the final group with Landry and Scheffler to tie for 10th at 18 under. From nearby Murrietta, Fowler played the event for the first time in six years.