Charlotte, NC – Derek Ernst parred the first playoff hole on Sunday to defeat David Lynn and win the Wells Fargo Championship.
Ernst closed with a 2-under 70 on Sunday to end at 8-under-par 280. He was joined there by Lynn, who also shot 70 in the final round.
The duo returned to the 18th for the playoff. Lynn's drive stopped in the rough near a creek, while Ernst split the fairway. Lynn dumped his second shot in a greenside bunker.
Ernst, who started the week as the fourth alternate, knocked his approach within 14 feet of the hole. Lynn blasted across the green, then chipped to eight feet. He failed to convert his bogey effort. Ernst, whose birdie putt lipped out, tapped in for par and his first PGA Tour win.
"I had a blast. It's my first time being in this position, so I enjoyed every moment of it for sure," Ernst said when asked if the rainy weather bothered him. "Point A for me is every shot is a new shot, it's a new opportunity. Yeah, this has just been an awesome opportunity."
Phil Mickelson bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes to slide out of the lead. He carded his second straight 73 to end one shot out of the playoff at minus-7.
Robert Karlsson and Lee Westwood both closed with even-par 72s and shared fourth place at 6-under-par 282.
Kyle Stanley matched the low round of the day with his 4-under 68. He was joined in sixth place at minus-6 by Bo Van Pelt (71), Ryan Moore (73) and Kevin Streelman (72).
The final round tee times were moved up in an effort to beat rain, which started to fall midway through the front nine for the final groups.
Ernst and Lynn were paired together two groups ahead of Mickelson, who shared the lead starting the day. Lynn bogeyed the first, while Ernst dropped a shot on the second.
They both bounced back with birdies on the par-5 seventh. There was a 2-stroke swing for the pair at the eighth as Ernst tripped to another bogey to slip to 5-under, while Lynn carded a birdie to move to minus-7.
Lynn stumbled to a bogey on the ninth as they headed to the back nine two and three strokes, respectfully, off the pace. Ernst joined Lynn at 6-under with a birdie at the 11th.
The 39-year-old Lynn birdied the 14th and 16th to jump to 8-under. Ernst was one behind as he birdied the par-5 15th. At the last, Ernst rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt to join Lynn at minus-8. That was just the fourth birdie of the day at the 18th.
"I didn't even think about birdieing the hole. I just thought hit the drive down the middle of the fairway, and then hit a nice shot," Ernst stated.
Lynn was the runner-up for a second time on the PGA Tour. He was second to Rory McIlroy last year at the PGA Championship.
"To be honest with you, I've been scrambling all week. I can't say as I've been flushing it tee to green," Lynn admitted.
From there, it was all up to Mickelson, who played the front nine in even par with a bogey at the third and a birdie on the fifth.
As the rain started and got heavier, Mickelson parred eight in a row from the sixth. He moved into the lead at 9-under with a birdie on the par-4 14th.
Mickelson found the rough off the tee at 16 and came up short with his approach shot. He chipped inside six feet, but failed to convert the par putt. He missed the green at the 17th, and played his second to eight feet.
Once again, Mickelson failed to save par and he dropped one shot out of the lead. At the last, he knocked his approach onto the back fringe. Mickelson missed from 18 feet out to end one shot out of the playoff.
NOTES: Ernst collected $1,206,000 for the win ... He became the fourth first- time winner in the last six tournaments at Quail Hollow ... The PGA Tour heads to Florida next week for The Players Championship, where Matt Kuchar won by two shots last year.