WATCH: Emiliano Grillo overcomes aqueduct fiasco on 72nd hole to win 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge
FORT WORTH, Texas – Emiliano Grillo emerged the winner Sunday at the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club after outlasting Adam Schenk in a two-hole playoff. And it wasn’t until after an adventurous 72nd hole that featured an aqueduct next to the par-4 18th that led to two more holes being played to determine a winner.
Holding a two-shot lead on the 18th tee box at 10 under for the event, Grillo blasted his tee shot right, the last ball entering the aqueduct inside the penalty area. . The water current was strong enough that Grillo’s ball began to slowly float a healthy distance back towards the tee box before finally coming to rest.
Although Grillo had the option of playing the ball from the hazard, he ultimately chose to fall and the one-stroke penalty that came with it. Fortunately for Grillo, he was able to get his drop on his approach line into the hazard, allowing him to play his third shot – a punch-out short of the green – from much closer. on the green than where he was. the ball settled after taking an unexpected turn.
Grillo eventually settled for a closing double bogey to sit at 8 under for the event. Schenk made that mark to force the playoff. Third round co-leader Harry Hall was also 8 under going into the 72nd hole, but missed the playoff by a stroke after hitting his tee on 18 in the water and taking care of bogey.
“I’ve hit that exact shot [before], straight into the tree. When the marshals walked right off the tree, I knew it was going to be a long time until that ball stopped,” Grillo said. “It stopped for five to 10 seconds, and I thought I got lucky. There was a window, and then five seconds later, it kept moving. So I tried so hard to make bogey, but I couldn’t. I knew if I finished before Scottie Scheffler I knew I would still have a chance.”
Grillo and Schenk carded dueling pars on the first playoff hole, a replay of the par 4 18th. When the action moved to the second playoff hole on the par-3 16th, however, Grillo kept his tee shot less than five feet from the cup, while Schenk’s tee shot bounced off the back side of the green. Schenk then put his chip shot close to the cup, but Grillo sank his birdie attempt to capture his second PGA Tour win, birdying the same hole earlier in the evening to reach 10 under. before returning to 8 fo.
Those who have watched the Charles Schwab Challenge over the years may be familiar with Grillo’s sequence of events on the final regulation hole. Ben Crenshaw, two-time Masters champion, in 1990, there was a similar meeting with the same watercourse when teeing off on the nearby par-4 17th, although Crenshaw’s ball eventually traveled all the way into a larger body of water. Crenshaw also shot 8 under en route to victory that year, although a playoff was not required.