Hudson Swafford escapes Alcatraz, takes Am-Ex La Quinta a second time


PGA TOUR 2022: The American Express, La Quinta, Palm Springs, California: 20-23 Jan

Hudson Swafford wins again at La Quinta 

From PGA TOUR Daily Wrap-up, by AP:

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Hudson Swafford won The American Express for the second time in five years Sunday, breaking a late tie with an eagle in a closing-round 8-under 64.

Swafford beat Tom Hoge by two strokes on PGA West’s Stadium Course after beginning the day three strokes behind rookies Lee Hodges and Paul Barjon.

Tied for the lead with fellow former Georgia player Brian Harman and Francesco Molinari at 20 under, Swafford pulled ahead with the eagle on the par-5 16th. From 198 yards, he hit to 8 feet on the iconic hole with large, deep bunkers lining the left side.

Swafford then ran in a 20-foot birdie putt on 17, a par-3 hole called Alcatraz with an island green ringed by jagged rocks. He saved par on the par-4 18th with an 8-footer.  Read more

From PGA TOUR, by Sean Martin:

LA QUINTA, Calif. – It’s been more than five years since David Swafford last watched his son, Hudson, compete on the PGA TOUR. Parkinson’s Disease had made walking the courses too difficult.

But, as Hudson made another spirited rally at PGA West’s Stadium Course, he knew his father was there for the five back-nine birdies and eagle that led to his third PGA TOUR victory.

“He was getting to see me hit good shots in person,” Hudson said Sunday. “It’s been a long time.”

David Swafford passed away on Dec. 6 at the age of 83. But Hudson could feel his father’s presence, looking skyward several times on the back nine. He heard his father’s voice telling him, “Be confident. You’re playing great.”  Read more

From Golfweek, by Larry Bohannan, Palm Springs Desert Sun:

LA QUINTA, CALIF. — Five years ago, The American Express saw surprisingly cloudy and rainy conditions and a surprise winner in Hudson Swafford.

Sunday, under warm and sunny skies, Swafford proved that good weather or bad, he knows how to win The American Express.

Fueled by a brilliant eagle on the 16th hole that will go down as one of the best moments in the 63-year history of the event, Swafford stayed ahead of a massive pack of chasers in the closing holes Sunday to win for the second time in the desert and the third time in his career.

Swafford’s 8-under 64 on Sunday vaulted him to a 23-under 265 total, two shots better than Tom Hoge, who shot 68 on Sunday. Three golfers finished third at 268.  Full article and gallery here


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