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Of the 32 players in the illustrious field, Garrigus never appeared to be a threat. The 33-year-old has been a professional golfer since 1997, but only entered the spotlight last season after a surprise win at the Children’s Miracle Classic.
It became the Cinderalla story of 2010 because the victory clinched his tour card for the following season. But his victory was also that much sweeter because of Garrigus’ memorable, probably still stinging, collapse last season at the St. Jude Classic. Garrigus had a three-stroke lead going into the 72nd hole, but watched it slowly, and brutally, evaporate due to costly mistakes, which ultimately lost him the tournament.
Regardless of his unconventional swing and rather lame history on the PGA Tour, Garrigus’ outgoing, jovial attitude on and off the golf course spurred him to the top of the leaderboard and into the hunt Sunday at the Hyundai. His gargantuan drives, aggressive iron play and crafty short game continued to blossom into the final round, leading to a final round six-under par, 67, and playoff against Jonathon Byrd.
But right when the playoff began, there was a palpable sense that Byrd had the advantage. Byrd's a less volatile player, and without a doubt a more reliable putter then Garrigus, who’d become notorious throughout the Tour for his hunched over posture for his unusually small, almost junior-sized putter.
Garrigus ended up losing on the second hole of the playoff when he missed a short, gut-check, three-foot putt, but it was a noble fight until the end for Garrigus.
After taking 2nd place, Garrigus reportedly joked “I shot 45 under my last eight rounds, that's kind of hilarious to think about. This is really not that disappointing. When I have a job and make a half-million dollars and can be upset about it, I've got a pretty damn good job.”