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Gay Rallies to Take Humana Challenge


Brian Gay fired a 9-under 63 to reach a sudden-death playoff, then won the $5.6 million Humana Challenge with a birdie on the second overtime hole at PGA West's Palmer course in La Quinta, Calif.

Scott Stallings began the final round with a five-stroke lead, but the 27-year-old from Massachusetts let the field catch him after closing with a 70. Stallings could have still won the tournament outright, but he pulled his 6-iron on the par-5 closing hole into a pond left of the green and couldn't get up and down for par to join Gay, Sweden's David Lingmerth and Charles Howell III - who all ended up at 25-under 263 - in the playoff.

Stallings wasn't sure what happened on the fateful 18th, but his second shot spelled ruined his tournament. "I felt great. There wasn't any nerves or anything like that going into it. Just hit a bad shot," said the two-time Tour winner.

"Same thing that happened on 14. Felt like I made a good swing, just ball came off a little right and got a bad kick and went in the water. But it is what it is. Coming down the stretch on the 72nd hole, you can't make mistakes like that. And it stinks, but it's something that I'll definitely learn from."

Lingmerth shot a 10-under 62 to get into the extra holes, but he bogeyed the first playoff hole - the 18th, which both Gay and Howell birdied - and didn't move on. After Howell hit his approach on the par-4 10th into the back bunker, Gay struck a beautiful 9-iron to four feet. When Howell missed his par attempt, Gay calmly stroked in his birdie putt for his fourth career victory and first since the 2009 St. Jude Classic.

Gay knew he'd have to go low and that Stallings would have to stumble to have a chance Sunday. "Scott was so far ahead, I just tried to be aggressive," Gay said during a greenside interview.

The win was worth $1.008 million and gave Gay the lead in the early going of the FedEx Cup Playoff points' race.

Just missing out on the playoff - along with Stallings - at 264 was James Hahn, who matched the low round of the day of 62. Nicolas Thompson (64) and Ryan Parker (65) shared sixth at 265, while one stroke further back were Kevin Chappell (62) and Canada's Jason Kokrak (65).

Another score was a 66 by Phil Mickelson. Making his season debut, "Lefty" finished at 17-under 271 and tied for 37th place.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.