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Golf: Hoffman wins Bob Hope Classic in playoff

Hoffman won on the same hole he had just eagled to force the playoff, as he and Rollins overcame blustery winds.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2007 09:42 IST

Charley Hoffman birdied the first playoff hole in Palm Desert on Sunday to win the five million-dollar Bob Hope Chrysler Classic ahead of fellow American John Rollins.

Hoffman won on the same hole he had just eagled to force the playoff, as he and Rollins overcame blustery winds that had some players saying that play should have been stopped.

"I definitely feel like the survivor, Hoffman said. "I didn't think I had a chance, but somehow I got it done."

Hoffman had capped his fifth and final round with an 11-foot eagle putt, then sank a four-footer for birdie in the playoff to capture his first US PGA Tour title.

Rollins booked his place in the playoff with a two-putt birdie from 25 feet at his final hole.

But at the first playoff hole his tee shot found the right fairway bunker.

Rollins gave himself a 30-foot birdie chance, but missed it left.

Hoffman and Rollins both finished at 17-under-par 343.

England's Justin Rose, who held the lead entering the final round, shot a 76 in the blustery winds and missed getting into the playoff by one shot.

"I think the wind was playing us today," Rose said. "I think it was a bit of a shame, really, because it was survival more than anything. I don't think there was much great golf being played out there."

The winds gusting up to 50 mph gave the tournament the feeling of an endurance test rather than the birdie festival it usually is.

In the 48-year history of the tournament only two winners have shot as high as par to win: Jack Nicklaus in 1963 and Billy Casper two years later.

Hoffman, whose previous best finish on tour was a tie for fifth at last year, didn't even know he had a chance to win after a bogey at 16.

When playing partner Jeff Quinney made a hole in one on the 17th hole from 178 yards with a four-iron, Hoffman was just trying to keep up with him.

"It definitely pumped me up, Hoffman said of Quinney's ace, which earned him a car. "He jumps a shot in front of me if I don't make my putt. I didn't know what the leaders were doing."

Phil Mickelson, the only golfer in the top 30 of world rankings entered here, fired a 73 and finished tied for 45th.

First Published: Jan 22, 2007 09:42 IST