CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. — The bad swing last week is a distant memory. The blown lead Sunday — that wasn’t enough to derail Billy Horschel, either.
Horschel let a three-shot lead drop to nothing early in the final round of the BMW Championship before rebounding for a two-stroke victory over Bubba Watson. Horschel shot a 1-under 69 and finished at 14-under 266 to put himself in prime position for the FedEx Cup title and its $10 million bonus at the Tour Championship next week.
Horschel heads into the final week of the playoff chase in second place in the points standings thanks to the victory and his tie for second a week ago — when he chunked a 6-iron well short on the final hole, squandering a chance to beat or force a playoff with playoff leader Chris Kirk.
This time, the 27-year-old from Grant, Florida, smoothed his approach into the middle of the 18th green and the only drama was whether he’d have time for a quick pit stop before he had to putt. He sprinted up the fairway, ducked under the ropes and was back in plenty of time to two-putt and close out the victory.
Ryan Palmer erased his three-shot deficit to Horschel and was tied after six holes, then again after 11.
Palmer was one behind as the final threesome walked down the 13th fairway, with Horschel buried in the right rough and Palmer buried in the left. Horschel hit his second shot safely on the green. Palmer nearly shanked his into a small creek that runs in front of the green. He made double bogey to fall three behind.
That left Sergio Garcia, who cut a seven-shot deficit to two, as the last true threat, but his chance imploded on the par-5 17th — when he cooked his third shot over the green, then chipped back over the green and into the water. He made triple-bogey 8 — sullying a round of 3-under 67. He finished at 9 under, tied for fourth with Palmer (71), Rickie Fowler (68) and Jim Furyk (66).
Watson shot 66 to finish second, his small chance at victory essentially ending when his ball landed up against a divot on the 18th fairway.
Palmer’s fourth-place finish moved him from 37th to 23rd.
But outside of Horschel, Sunday’s biggest winner was third-place finisher Morgan Hoffman, who turned the old-school, mile-high layout at Cherry Hills into his personal pitch and putt over the weekend. He shot 7-under 63 on Sunday to go with his course-record 62 on Saturday and vaulted from 68th to 21st in the standings. He started the playoffs 124th.
McIlroy finished tied for eighth after a 66 that included a replay of the worst kind — a four-putt on the 12th green for the second straight day. Still, he’s comfortably in the mix for next week.
Wes Short Jr. wins Quebec Championship: In Quebec City, Wes Short Jr. eagled the final hole to win the Quebec Championship on Sunday for his first Champions Tour’s title.
The 51-year-old Short played the final 10 holes in 8 under for an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke victory over Scott Dunlap in the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in the area since 1956.
Dunlap, the Boeing Classic winner two weeks ago, also eagled the par-5 18th for a 64.
Short finished at 15-under 201 at La Tempete. He won in Las Vegas in 2005 for his lone PGA Tour title.
Brad Faxon and Esteban Toledo, the winner last year at La Vallee du Richelieu in the then-Montreal Championship, shot 71 to tie for third at 11 under. They were tied for the second-round lead.
Hadwin wins Tour Finals: In Davidson, N.C., Adam Hadwin won the Chiquita Classic on Sunday to jump from fourth to second on the money list after the second of four events in the Web.com Tour Finals.
The 26-year-old Canadian, the Chile Classic winner in March, closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over John Peterson, a former LSU golfer. Hadwin finished at 18-under 270 at River Run.
Hadwin earned $180,000 to push his season total to $473,667. He wrapped a PGA Tour card with his fourth-place finish on the regular-season money list and is competing with the other top-25 players for PGA Tour priority, with the final leader getting a spot in The Players Championship.
Peterson shot a 68. He earned $108,000 and has made $127,600 in the first two Web.com Tour Finals events, more than enough to regain his PGA Tour card after finishing 179th in the FedEx Cup standings.
Third-round leader Greg Chalmer had a 75 to drop into a tie for eighth at 12 under.
The 40-year-old Australian was finished 132nd in the FedEx Cup standings.