Golf: Tearful Kyle Stanley clinches PGA National play-off for first win in 5 years

Kyle Stanley of the United States reacting after defeating Charles Howell III of the United States during a playoff in the final round of the Quicken Loans National on July 2, 2017.
Kyle Stanley of the United States reacting after defeating Charles Howell III of the United States during a playoff in the final round of the Quicken Loans National on July 2, 2017.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

(REUTERS) - Kyle Stanley saved par on the first sudden death play-off hole to beat fellow American Charles Howell III and capture the PGA National on Sunday for his first victory in five years.

Stanley and Howell III, paired together in the final round, shot matching four-under par 66s to reach the top of the leaderboard at seven under.

Playing the par-4 18th hole in their play-off, each missed the green with their second shot but after Howell III misfired on a 10-foot par putt, Stanley calmly sank his short attempt to claim his second career PGA Tour triumph.

"It means a lot, it's hard to put into words right now," said an emotional Stanley, whose previous victory came at the Phoenix Open in 2012.

"(This win) is confirmation we've been working on the right things, and if anything will make me a little bit hungrier to get to work."

The TPC Potomac in Maryland was softened by rain and endured a five-minute storm delay late in the day, making the final round a scramble that featured several contenders and some costly mistakes.

World No. 9 Rickie Fowler fired a 65 and finished tied for third at five under alongside Scotland's Martin Laird.

Fowler shot nine birdies but his chances were undone by a double bogey on the reachable par-4 14th, one of the easiest holes on the course.

"14 cost me a good shot to get in good position in the clubhouse," Fowler said. "There are a couple swings I'd like to have back."

Overnight leader David Lingmerth stumbled home with a three-over 73 to finish in a group of players sharing fifth place at four under.

Howell III was returning from a rib injury that kept him out of tournament action for more than two months and his runner-up place earned him a spot in this month's British Open in Southport.

"I'm excited to be back, it's a wonderful event," Howell III said. "It was a long nine weeks, it's great to be healthy."