Hudson Swafford wins at Corales Puntacana by 1-stroke
Hudson Swafford has claimed his second win on the PGA Tour with victory at the Corales Puntacana.
Starting the day 2 shots back from Adam Long, Swafford got off to the perfect start with a birdie on the 3rd hole and an eagle on the 4th hole. He backed it up with another birdie on the 7th and 8th hole. As he was climbing up the leader board Long was moving back into the pack.
Long bogeyed the 2nd but had a bounce back birdie on the 4th but unfortunately then followed it up with another 2 bogeys on the 6th and 7th hole.
Meanwhile up in the lead Swafford had opened up a 4 shot lead and was 5 under after nine holes. A poor double bogey on the 13th and another bogey on the 15th hole and the chasing pack were breathing down his back.
Heading onto the par 3 17th hole, Swafford was in a 3 way tie. Needing a birdie on the either the closing holes to take the solo lead he knocked it to 7 feet and calmly rolled in the putt.
“I was just envisioning my shot at 17 on PGA West when I stepped up on the 17th green,” Swafford said. “(My caddie) said, ‘You know, this is just a three-quarter 6-iron, you've been hitting your 6-iron great all day, all week, just hit one more. It's a 190, just do it,’ and I hit a beauty, then solid putt and went right in.”
Only needing a par for victory, Swafford had an 8 foot par saver which he rolled in for the win.
“My caddie, Kyle, and I, we were talking. I thought the putt might go a little right, he said it might go a little left. He just said, "Man, just hit a solid putt. You've hit a lot of them, just hit one more solid putt,’” said Swafford of his par save on 18. “I hit a great one.”
“I don't even know which side of the hole it went in on, I just know it was going in,” said Swafford.
“And that’s what I do for a living is walk,” Swafford said. “Ended up finding out I had a broken bone in the bottom of my foot that it had to be removed. They took it out. The bone was dead. I felt like I had just gotten confidence back and then that setback was there.
“It's been a struggle.”
Still, Swafford credits his wife Katherine for his ability to return to the PGA TOUR winner’s circle. He and Katherine are now parents for the first time (James Hudson Swafford Jr. was born in December 2018).
“Being a father is the best thing in the world to me. Wouldn't want it any other way. My wife and I, we are blessed,” said Swafford. “(My wife and I) come down here to the Dominican and actually kind of take a vacation with a little golf involved. It's been an excellent week. We can't wait to see him next week.”