After 72 holes at last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship, it was certain there would be another PGA Tour first-time winner. We just needed an extra hole to figure out who it was going to be.
After Sunday’s final 18 holes Sebastian Munoz of Columbia was tied with South Korea’s Sungjae Im. The two played sudden death, and Munoz won on the first extra hole.
It was the second first-time winner in as many weeks. It was also the second consecutive winner from South America. Munoz joins last week’s winner, Joaquin Niemann, who is from Chile. Niemann became a PGA Tour first-time winner when he captured the tour’s season opening event, A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier.
Munoz told reporters after his victory that he got his inspiration from Niemann.
“Jaco’s win gave me the belief I needed, the little extra belief I’m good enough, I’m here,” Munoz said. “I never really thought I was going to be a PGA TOUR professional. I didn’t think I was that good.”
In addition to the victory Munoz also got an invite to Augusta National for the Masters in April. Because the tournament was not up against another event, the winner was going to punch his ticket to Augusta.
The Sanderson Farms Championship has now produced six consecutive first-time winners.
Another Type of First-Time Winner
European professional Danny Willett, who won the 2016 Masters, was a first-time winner on his home soil, when he captured the BMW PGA Championship.
The Englishman won the event at Wentworth for his seventh European Tour event. He has been plagued by injuries the last couple of years, but felt like this week was going to be special.
“This week has been one of those fairytales to win on home soil,” Willett said. “(I’ve) had a couple of good chances here before and the crowd weren’t going to let me throw it away.”
Willett entered the event ranked 462nd on the Official World Golf Rankings. He slowly began to climb up the rankings, and by the end of 2018 was 81st. He was 58th going into the event, and now is at 31.
Though Spaniard Jon Rahm was close behind, Willett was fighting off his own self-doubts in the final round in his attempt to be a first-time winner in England.
“It doesn’t get much better than this, does it?” Willett told Sky Sports. “It was a battle out there, with myself more than anyone else, and it’s nice to come through the other side.”
This Week’s Odds, Pick
The tour is at the Safeway Open in Napa, and Justin Thomas is the favorite at 7/1. Thomas has not finished lower than two 12th-place ties. He also has a victory and a T-3 in that same time. We like Ryan Moore at 40/1. He has finished no worse than 17th here, and lost in a playoff last year.