Printed on: January 22, 2013

Gay wins Humana in playoff


LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) -- Brian Gay found the extra distance he was looking for without sacrificing control.

That was clear late Sunday afternoon in the Humana Challenge when Gay cracked a 300-yard drive down the center of the fairway to set up a birdie on the first playoff hole.

A few minutes later, he split the fairway with a 297-yarder and made another birdie to hold off Charles Howell III for his fourth PGA Tour title.

Gay won on the par-4 10th, putting his 9-iron second shot 5 feet below the hole. Howell drove into the right rough, hit into the back bunker, blasted out to 15 feet and two-putted for bogey.

Gay, hardly an imposing figure at 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, worked hard last year to increase his driving distance.

Gay closed with a 9-under 63 on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course to match Howell and Swedish rookie David Lingmerth at 25-under 263. Howell shot a 64, and Lingmerth had a 62.

Lingmerth dropped out with a bogey on the first extra hole -- the par-5 18th -- after hitting his approach into the left-side water.

Scott Stallings, five strokes ahead entering the round, bogeyed the final hole for a 70 to miss the playoff by a stroke. Gay began the round six strokes behind Stallings.

Howell tied for second a week after opening the season with a third-place tie in Hawaii in the Sony Open.