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[ Home >> About Us - Store Information >> Great Golf Deals.com Blog >> Great Golf Deals Blog >> What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Derek Ernst at The 2013 Wells Fargo Championship - Great Golf Deals.com Blog ]

What's In The Winner's Golf Bag: Derek Ernst at The 2013 Wells Fargo Championship - Great Golf Deals.com Blog


May 5, 2013



CHARLOTTE In a strange week featuring battered greens, Vijay Singh being cleared of a drug violation by the PGA Tour and a viewer calling in an alleged violation on Sergio Garcia, it was fitting the winner of the Wells Fargo Championship turned out to be Derek Ernst.


He was ranked 1,207th in the world rankings at the start of the week. He was headed to Georgia to play in a Web.com Tour event but turned his car around when he got into the Wells Fargo as the fourth alternate. And then the 22-year-old PGA Tour rookie beat David Lynn in a playoff.
"This feeling is unbelievable right now," said Ernst, who last won in a college tournament last year. "All week long my swing felt good, mental game was good. The big thing was, what I said all week long is, I got out of my own way, and it paid off for now."
With a 2-under-par 70 in the final round, Ernst and Lynn finished at 8-under 280, one stroke ahead of Phil Mickelson, who again was in control of the tournament on a dismally cold and miserably wet Sunday at Quail Hollow Club. And once again, "Lefty" let control and eventual victory slip out of his hands with bogeys on two of his last three holes.
"I'm pretty bummed out," said Mickelson, who was in a tie for the lead at the start of the day but shot 73. "I thought I had the tournament under control. It's very disappointing. I would have liked to have won this one."
A day after squandering a chance to distance himself from the field by hitting a ball out of bounds for a double bogey on the par-5 15th hole and then hitting a spectator on the noggin which led to bogey on the 16th hole Mickelson was but a solid bunker shot away from making birdie on the 15th to take a two-shot lead in the final round of a tournament he cherishes and is desperate to win.
But Mickelson hit a poor shot out of the bunker, left his birdie putt dead in the middle of the hole but short, and then made bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes to fall out of the lead. Mickelson missed his chance for entry into the playoff when his 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole slid by on the left side.
"Fifteen was such a critical hole," Mickelson said. "I hit two great shots to put it where I wanted to in the bunker. But I hit a poor bunker shot. That hole cost me. The holes coming down the stretch are not easy holes but I had an easy chip on 16 and hit it by the hole and then made bogey on 17.
"Sixteen and 17 got me. There was no excuse to bogeying 16 and 17."
Ernst got the first win when he put himself into a playoff with a birdie from 4 feet on the 18th. He then two-putted for par on the same hole to beat Lynn on the first playoff hole.
Ernst, Lynn, Mickelson, Nick Watney and Ryan Moore all had at least a share of the lead during the final round. Slowly the crowded leader board shook out and Lee Westwood and Robert Karlsson finished in a tie for fourth. Moore fell into a tie for sixth, Watney in a tie for 10th.
World No. 2 Rory McIlroy was making a sustained charge until a double-bogey 6 at 12 sent him backward and eventually into a tie for 10th. His week was one without momentum as he missed nearly a dozen putts inside 5 feet.
"It was pretty difficult," McIlroy said. "It felt like I was coming into it pretty well. Tough conditions, blustery winds, obviously, it was very wet today. I thought anything in the 60s was probably going to have a chance. I made a couple of mistakes coming in."
Ernst made just two mistakes bogeys on the second and eighth holes. But a spotless, 3-under 33 on the back nine put him into position to win. A solid drive and iron to 15 feet allowed him to take two putts for the win.
Ernst, who said he idolized Watney growing up in Fresno when Watney went to Fresno State, was going to play in a Web.com Tour event in Georgia but turned his car around when he got the call he was in the Wells Fargo. He drove away with a $1.206 million check and a two-year exemption on the Tour. He'll also be heading to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., having earned a spot in next week's Players Championship. And he'll be playing in next year's Masters.
"The money is money, it will come and go," said Ernst, the youngest winner on Tour this year. "But winning and having a job and playing out here for the next two years, that's what I want to do. I want to play out here, so that is the best part."
Lynn, who finished runner-up to McIlroy in last year's PGA Championship, said he hadn't heard of Ernst and met him for the first time Sunday. Lynn holds no grudges, either, with the playoff loss.
"A runner-up finish, it's a good finish. It jumps me up in the Order of Merit. So you take heart, don't you, from losing the playoffs? It's all confidence building, so it puts me in good standing for the rest of the year," Lynn said.
Mickelson said he's in good standing heading into next week.
"I do feel good about where my game is at," said Mickelson, who won earlier this year in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. "I'm looking forward to next week. My game feels like it's coming. I didn't drive the ball as well this week as I should but that will change. My irons feel good, my chipping is good, my putting is good. I should have a good chance at that one."

WHAT'S IN derek'S WINNING GOLF BAG?


Driver: PING i20 Loft, 9.5 degrees, Shaft Ping TFC 707x

3-wood: PING i15 Loft 14.5 degrees, Shaft Grafalloy Pro Launch Red X-Flex


Hybrid: PING Answer Loft 17 degrees, Shaft Oban Kiyoshi X-Flex


Irons (3-PW): PING S56 Color code Blue, Shaft Royal Precision Project X 6.5


Wedges: PING Tour Gorge 54 degrees; PING Answer 58 Degrees Shaft 
Royal Precision Project X 6.5

Putter: PING Scottsdale TR Greyhawk, 35 Inches


Ball: Titleist Pro V1x


You Can Score Derek's Winning Gear and Deep Discount Prices at Great Golf Deals.com - Discount Golf Equipment

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