Flor de Caña Open Playoff among Longest in PGA TOUR History
September 03, 2017
By Communications, PGATOURLA.COM
- September 03, 2017
- This also was the longest playoff in the six years of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. (Enrique Berardi/PGA TOUR)
TOLA, Nicaragua—The PGA TOUR Latinoamerica’s Flor de Cana Open began last Thursday as a planned 72-hole tournament. Turns out the tournament needed 82.
At the end of regulation Sunday afternoon, Michael Buttacavoli and Michael Davan were tied at 20-under 284. The two Michaels remained deadlocked on sudden-death hole after hole after hole after hole after hole after...
Well, you get the idea.
In what was easily the longest playoff in the Tour’s history, Buttacavoli outlasted Davan on the 10th extra hole, Buttacavoli—finally—making par to Davan’s bogey.
They weren’t playing by the light of the silvery moon, but it was close.
The 18th at Mukul Beach Golf and Spa is a unique par-3 finishing hole, the green’s backdrop the Pacific Ocean. For the tournament, a giant electronic video board sat to the left of the green, which was a good thing. For the final six playoff holes, Buttacavoli and Davan were able to continue playing, thanks to the illumination the scoreboard and an 18th-tee light tower provided.
In the playoff, the duo played the par-3 18th nine times and the par-4 17th once. They both matched pars on the first seven holes, sank birdie putts each on the eighth playoff hole, parred the ninth and finally saw things come to a close when Buttacavoli made his ninth par of the playoff, while Davan bogeyed.
While the sun had long since set, the light still shone brightly on Buttacavoli, winning for the second time on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, this trophy going alongside the hardware he picked up when he won the 2014 Dominican Republic Open.
This was also the longest playoff in the six years of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica. In 2015, at the Aberto del Brasil, Alexander Rocha defeated Keith Mitchell on the seventh playoff hole at the in Rio de Janeiro.
So where does this 10-holer rank in the history of long, PGA TOUR-sanctioned tournaments?
It’s up there, trailing only the 11-hole playoffs at the PGA TOUR’s 1949 Motor City Open in Detroit and the Web.com Tour’s Cleveland Open in 2014. This, however, is the second-longest tournament in PGA TOUR history that resulted in a single winner.
At the 1949 Motor City Open, future World Golf Hall of Famers Lloyd Mangrum and Cary Middlecoff battled for 11 sudden-death holes at Meadowbrook Country Club in the Detroit suburb of Northville, Mich. With darkness blanketing the course—and no, ahem, video board to help things along—officials told the players, both U.S.
Army veterans, they would have to return Monday morning to complete the playoff. Once officials learned that Mangrum and Middlecoff each had Monday obligations elsewhere, they declared the two players co-winners by mutual consent. Both Mangrum and Middlecoff count the Motor City Open as a victory on their resumes, Mangrum with 36 career TOUR titles and Middlecoff with 39.
The longest TOUR-sanctioned playoff that came to a single-winner conclusion belongs to the Web.com Tour, at the 2014 Cleveland Open. That tournament featured a battle New Zealander Steven Alker and South African Dawie Van der Walt, with Alker draining a three-foot birdie putt on the 11th extra hole for the victory.
Here’s a look at all PGA TOUR-sanctioned playoffs that have lasted at least nine holes:
2014 Cleveland Open
Dawie van der Walt
Alker won with a birdie
1949 Motor City Open
Officials declared the players co-winners due to darkness
2017 Flor de Cana Open
PGA TOUR Latinoamerica
Buttacavoli won with a par
1998 Royal Caribbean Classic
PGA TOUR Champions
Graham won with a birdie
2009 Northeast Pennsylvania classic
Christian won with a birdie
2001 Toshiba Senior Classic
PGA TOUR Champions
Jose Maria Canizares
Canizares won with a birdie
1998 Lehigh Valley Open
Notah Begay III
Booker won with a birdie
1997 Toshiba Senior Classic
PGA TOUR Champions
Murphy won with a birdie