Molder outlasts Baird in epic playoff


Bryce Molder captured his first win on the PGA Tour by making a six-foot birdie putt on the sixth extra hole to win the Open on Sunday. With the evening light fading on the CordeValle golf course, the 32-year-old American edged Briny Baird in the longest playoff on the tour this year. “It feels surreal,” Molder said. “I played a lot of golf today but it was a lot of fun.”
Molder, who toiled for some time on the entry level Nationwide Tour, posted his first victory in 132 attempts at the course southeast of San Jose. His win Sunday earns him a two-year exemption on the USPGA Tour. “I have been working really hard inside on being confident whether I hit good shots or bad shots because it doesn’t change who I am,” Molder said. “It took me a long time to get to this point. I am sure I will have to relearn this lesson.”
Like Molder, Baird was seeking his first win on tour and is now zero-for-348 in a dozen years on the PGA. “It is upsetting,” Baird said. “I had my chances.”
Molder and Baird finished the first four rounds at 17-under 267. Molder rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation to close with a seven-under 64 and force a sudden-death playoff. He made a nice par save from a hazard on 18 during the fourth playoff hole.