AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Tom Hoge the hero as Jordan Spieth falters at the finish

American captures his first PGA Tour win after two-shot swing at the 71st hole costs 2017 champion Spieth a second success at Pebble Beach.

Tom Hoge produced a superb back nine to grab victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California.

The 32-year-old American had started the final round in a tie for the lead alongside Beau Hossler and Andrew Putnam, with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay lurking just a shot back.

On a day which saw plenty of leaderboard swings, Spieth looked to be on track to win the event for a second time after birdies at 12 and 13 took him to 18-under and a shot clear.

But Hoge birdied 14 and 16 to pull level before the par-3 17th, as so often is the case at Pebble, became the tournament's pivotal hole.

Spieth found sand off the tee and bogeyed while Hoge drained a 21-foot birdie putt to suddenly spring into a two-shot lead.

Needing eagle at 18 to have any realistic hope, Spieth could only make a par 5, allowing Hoge to play the hole as a three-shotter.

Two putts completed an inward 4-under 32, a closing 4-under 68 and a 72-hole total of 19-under that was good enough to seal a two-shot victory - Hoge's first on the PGA Tour.

Beau Hossler birdied 17 to reach 17-under and give himself a shot at a play-off via an eagle at the last.

But, needing to hole his bunker shot at 18, Hossler splashed out way past the flag and three-putted for bogey to finish solo third on 16-under. That left Spieth as runner-up.

Hoge said: "It's awesome. So many great champions here at Pebble Beach.

"For me, we took a vacation here last summer. I brought my dad, brother and wife Kelly out to play. So Pebble Beach is a special spot for us as well.

"And I would say it's a spot for me that has really grown on me the last two years since we played the US Open here in 2019.

"I've never had a lot of success around this golf course, felt like I kind of figured out a little bit and really figured out I felt like it was a golf course that really suits my game."

Meanwhile, Spieth reflected: "I'll look back and kick myself for not winning this tournament just having the lead and looking back at where the pins were on the last four holes and say, you know, there's 1- or 2-under there.

Jordan Spieth at the 2021 Pebble Beach Pro Am

"So that's where I'll be, but certainly if you told me I would have the lead on Sunday on the last Thursday I would have said I'll take that."

Pebble trends play out nicely again

Ahead of this week, the last 10 winners at Pebble Beach had all previously produced a top 16 in the tournament.

Going into the final round, three of the players in contention - joint-leaders Hossler and Andrew Putnam along with halfway pacesetter Seamus Power - had not. By coincidence, all had a best finish of just tied 38th.

Would they buck that strong history?

The other four players to start the day in the top seven - Hoge, Spieth, Cantlay and Joel Dahmen - all had a Pebble Beach top 15 to their name so were definitely on #TeamTournamentTrend.

The other way of deciding who might come through on the final day was to look at how they'd played Pebble on their one lap there earlier in the week.

Of the 'trend' quartet, Hoge and Spieth had both shot 63s to frank the belief that they relished the course and could have an edge.

And so it played out: Hoge lifted the trophy and Spieth finished runner-up.

Fate of the big names

Spieth now has a win, a second, a third, a fourth, a seventh and a ninth at Pebble Beach.

Every time he contests this tournament, he's one to seriously consider as the likely winner.

Cantlay is turning into an event specialist too as his tied fourth this week followed a top three last year and tied 11th in 2020.

One added note is that he's now failed to win any of the tournaments in which he started the final day just a shot off the lead. His finishes in those events: 4th, 4th, 4th and 5th.

At least he's consistent but failing to put the metal to the floor when on the shoulder of the leader(s) is becoming a habit.

Jason Day and Justin Rose were next in the betting after defending champion Daniel Berger (injury) and Will Zalatoris (Covid) withdrew.

After five straight top sevens in this event and eight in all, Pebble Beach specialist Day looked set to add to that tally when starting the final round in tied eighth.

But he faltered on Sunday and dropped 16 places to tied 24th.

Still, that's a second straight top 25 after his third place at Torrey Pines last week and the former World No.1 is starting to play good golf again after a poor couple of seasons.

Rose also showed some good signs at last week's Farmers Insurance Open when tied sixth.

But here he fell apart spectacularly on Sunday, shooting a 78 to finish 62nd of the 63 players who made the cut.

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