It didn’t take long to see a playoff in the new PGA Tour season. But it’s safe to say Sebastian Munoz of Colombia didn’t mind playing the extra hole since it meant securing his first PGA Tour victory on Sunday.
Munoz hit a clutch 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff with Sungjae Im. He then made par on the one-and-only playoff hole, good enough to win the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss.
Munoz, 26, made it two straight weeks where a golfer from South America has won on the Tour. Joaquin Niemann dazzled last week in route to winning A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. Niemann won comfortably by six strokes, but Munoz had to scratch and claw a little more.
Munoz was one of several players in the mix on Sunday. After missing a couple of good scoring chances on the back-nine, he made up for it with his birdie putt on 18. That putt tied him with Im at 18-under 270 for the tournament.
In the playoff, Im missed the fairway left and then overshot the green considerably. Meanwhile, Munoz played the hole a little shorter and was able to chip himself into a very make-able par putt. Im had a chance to par and extend the playoff to another hole but missed his putt wide.
There’s more good news for Munoz. In addition to winning a PGA Tour event for the first time, this was the first time in Sanderson Farms Championship history that it was not held the same weekend as another PGA Tour event with a stronger field. That means that Munoz will get the full amount of FedEx Cup points, as well as a spot in next year’s Masters.
Due For A Win
This win hardly came out of nowhere for Munoz. While this is his first victory on Tour, it was his seventh top-15 finish in his last 13 starts across two tours. His best finish prior to this came in 2017 when he finished T3 at the Greenbrier Classic and shot an opening round of 61.
The runner-up Im is still on the hunt for his first career victory. It shouldn’t be too far away, however, as last year’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, who reached the Tour Championship last month, has a very bright future.
Byeong Hun An had a chance to win or at least join the playoff, but settled for solo third, while Carlos Ortiz and Kevin Streelman finished T4.
The playoff needed on Sunday to determine a winner ended a streak of 38 consecutive PGA Tour events that were decided in regulation. The last playoff was near the end of 2018 when Charles Howell III beat Patrick Rodgers at Sea Island to win the RSM Classic.
Munoz, who was born in Bogotá, played college golf at the University of North Texas. He turned professional in 2015 and would win a Web.com Tour event in Bogotá, the Club Colombia Championship.
In 2018, Munoz had two second-place finishes and a third-place finish on the Web.com Tour, good enough to earn him a promotion to the PGA Tour.
The PGA Tour now heads to Napa, Calif., for one of its biggest early-season tournaments, the Safeway Open. The Sanderson Farms trio of Munoz, Im, and An will all be in the field, joining Tour staples Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, and Patrick Cantlay. The first round from Silverado Resort and Spa will tee off early Thursday morning.