Emiliano Grillo survived a bizarre incident on the final hole to clinch his second PGA Tour title at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas.
The Argentine had a two-shot lead going into the 18th hole at Colonial Country Club, but his tee shot veered right and landed in a stream that flowed back towards him.
Grillo had to wait almost seven minutes as his ball slowly moved about 100 yards downstream before it finally stopped against a rock. He then took a drop and made a double-bogey six to finish at eight-under par, tied with Adam Schenk.
Grillo bounced back from the near disaster and birdied the second playoff hole to secure his first win since October 2015, joining Roberto De Vicenzo as the only Argentinians to win at Colonial.
Grillo said he had experienced a similar situation before on the same hole and knew he had to stay calm and focused.
“I’ve hit the exact same shot to the right of the tree. I knew it, when I saw one of the marshals walk right of the tree, I knew it was going to be a long wait until that ball stopped,” he told reporters.
“It stopped for like five, 10 seconds at one moment. I actually thought I got lucky. So I had a big window. Then five seconds later, the ball kept moving.”
The 30-year-old said he was hoping to make a five from there and force a playoff.
“I knew that wherever it was dropping was going to be on the cart path or the side of the hill, and the situation wasn’t going to be easy,” he said.
“After hitting my shot in the water, I’m like: ‘OK, what’s the easiest way to make a five from here?’ The easiest would have been the ball to stop at some point, get in the fairway, hit the green, and two-putt. That would have been an ideal situation, just give myself a putt from the green for four.”
Grillo said he was thrilled to win at Colonial and put his name next to De Vicenzo, who won there in 1957.
“It feels great. The wait was definitely worth it. It was long, but it was worth it,” Grillo said.
“Happy to be champion in Colonial. I get to put my name right next to Roberto De Vicenzo, which is 40, 50 years ago. I’m excited.”
Grillo earned $1.566 million for his victory and also received a restored 1973 Schwab Bronco as part of the champion’s prize.