It took a four-way playoff to settle the 2014 Honda Classic, but it was 24-year-old Russell Henley who emerged victorious for his second PGA tour win.
Henley beat out Rory McIlroy, Ryan Palmer and Russell Knox by birdying the first playoff hole.
But all eyes were on McIlroy, who played great for three-and-a-half rounds, then collapsed in a way that dredged up his implosion at the 2011 Masters. After a tumultuous year, McIlroy has made a valiant comeback to prominence and looked to finalize a wire-to-wire win at a course where he won in 2012. But he was tripped up on the back nine with a befuddling bogey-filled performance.
It was a shocking end to a wild weekend in which the real winner was the notorious Bear Trap. Holes 15 through 17 at the PGA National seemed to gobble up anyone in their path.
McIlroy, who was 11 under at the final turn, needed a miraculous 245-yard fairway shot to the 18th green of the 72nd hole in order to make it to the playoffs.
Citing back spasms, Tiger Woods walked off in the midst of his round on the final day.
Henley’s win came in the most competitive field to date, as he beat a packed field of stars including Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Zack Johnson, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood.
On Academy Awards night, the awards for both the winners and losers at the 2014 Honda Classic go to…