Moyola Park's Chris Selfridge tied for fifth as England's Sam Horsfield spectacularly chipped in for an eagle three on the final hole to retain the New Year's Invitational in Florida.
The halfway leader at St. Petersburg Country Club following a brace of 70s, Selfridge's title chances suffered a blow with a third round 75 before he rallied with a closing 70 to finish five behind the winner on three under par.
Its been an amazing week in Florida. Not the result I wanted but very happy with the game. Onwards and upwards!— Chris Selfridge (@selfridgec595) January 11, 2015
Defending champion Horsfield closed with round of 68 and 69 to finish on eight under 280, one clear of Brandon Pierce. But it took something special to secure the win.
As Andy Zunz reported for Golfweek:
After Brandon Pierce set up a kick-in birdie on the par-5 18th, Sam Horsfield needed a heroic shot to repeat at the New Year's Invitational in regulation.
Horsfield, the No. 26 golfer in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, delivered.
Faced with a 25 yard shot, Horsfield committed to a bump-and-run with his 8-iron. About three-quarters of the way to the hole, he said "Please hit the flag." The ball did just that, striking the pin with pace and falling in for eagle, saving a would-be 10-foot comebacker and winning the tournament.
"I launched my club up in the air and I don't remember anything else, to be honest with you," said Horsfield. "I had a pretty good read on it. It was uphill left to right, with pretty good break."
New Year's Invitational, St. Petersburg Country Club (Par 72)
1 Sam Horsfield 72-71-68-69 280
2 Brandon Pierce 71-70-71-69 281
3 Gunn Yang 74-69-68-72 283
3 Michael McGowan 72-69-70-72 283
5 Drew Czuchry 73-72-70-70 285
5 Chris Selfridge 70-70-75-70 285
7 Jim Liu 74-72-67-73 286
8 James Clark 76-72-69-70 287
9 Ryan Orr 74-72-74-68 288
9 Kyle Shealy 71-76-70-71 288