Tied for 106th after the first round in the Frys.com Open, Troy Matteson thought it might be a short tournament.
It turned out to be a long and rewarding one.
Recovering from a late collapse, Matteson birdied the second playoff hole to beat Jamie Lovemark and Rickie Fowler on Sunday at Grayhawk Golf Club for his second PGA Tour victory.
"On Thursday, if you would have told me that I could get into a playoff to try to win this tournament, I would have said you're absolutely out of your mind," Matteson said.
After all three players parred the first playoff hole, Matteson hit his approach within 3 feet on the 464-yard, par-4 17th hole. With shadows stretching onto the green, he rolled in the putt to win.
That capped an incredible three-day stretch for the 29-year-old.
He shot a 2-over 72 on Thursday. But Matteson had back-to-back 61s on Friday and Saturday _ a PGA Tour record for lowest score in consecutive rounds _ and he took a three-stroke lead into the final round.
"That's as good as I can play," Matteson said. "I really don't have to worry about playing better than that, because that's it."
Matteson's first tour victory came as a rookie in 2006, when he won the Frys.com Open in Las Vegas, now called the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Bill Lunde (66) and Tim Clark (67) tied for fourth at 16 under, and 2007 winner Mike Weir (61) and Bryce Molder (63) followed at 15 under. Weir had a chance for the fourth 59 in PGA Tour history, but parred the final three holes.
On the first extra hole, Lovemark got a gift when his approach splashed into a man-made lagoon, then bounced onto the slope of the green. Lovemark chipped to 3 feet and made the putt to stay alive.
"It was crazy," said Lovemark, who called the fluke shot a "skipper."
Lovemark and Fowler, who are seeking PGA Tour cards, each earned $440,000.
Fowler has made $553,700 this season, which gives him special temporary membership because the amount exceeds the 150th spot on the money list last year. That allows him to skip the first stage of Q-school next week and most likely makes him exempt into the final stage. He is the equivalent of 136th on this year's money list, and still has time to reach the top 125 and earn his card without Q-school.
"I knew I was capable of coming out and competing," said the shaggy-haired Fowler, who tied for seventh in Las Vegas last week. "But to finish tied for seventh and then tied for first and then losing a playoff, pretty quick start."
The 20-year-old Fowler turned pro after the Walker Cup last month.
Lovemark has earned $453,872 and said he would go to Q-school next week in North Carolina. He needed to finish alone in second to earn enough to be a temporary member. If he were to skip the first stage and take his chances at the Viking Classic next week, he would not be eligible for Q-school the rest of the way.
Fowler and Lovemark had finished their rounds when Matteson faltered on a sun-splashed afternoon in the desert.
After bogeying the 17th, Matteson (68) knocked his approach shot into a bunker on the 18th. He chipped to about 10 feet, then missed the putt to force the playoff.