Derek Ernst is the unlikely winner of the Wells Fargo Championship thanks to a 2-under-par 37-33=70 in the final round that included a birdie on the 72nd hole to force a playoff with David Lynn.
The rookie from UNLV was an afterthought for much of the day, not seeing red figures until he rattled home his third birdie of the round on the par-5 15th from 7'10". He stepped on the 18th tee trailing by one, then after finding the fairway he threw his approach 4'8" from the bottom of the cup and poured it in for a share of the lead at 8-under 280. He went back to the tee at the par-4 18th for the first playoff hole, splitting the fairway while Lynn's ball found the hazard. Lynn was able to play his ball, depositing it into a greenside bunker while Ernst found the green 13'3" from the hole. With Lynn continuing to make a mess of the hole, Ernst needed just two putts for his first win and managed his two-putt par. Not only is this Ernst's first PGA TOUR victory, it's the first time he's secured a top 40. This win gets him into this week's PLAYERS, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship, but he's probably most excited about the two-year exemption.