Emiliano Grillo avoids pile-up, wins 2015 Open

October 18, 2015

It was far from a grand finale at the Open. For the final hours, it appeared the field was averse to winning.

But, after a two-hole showdown that featured a host of groan-inducing shots, Emiliano Grillo bested Kevin Na to grab the 2015 Open.

Grillo, a 23-year-old rookie that won the Web.Com Tour Championship, sunk a birdie on the final hole to get to 15 under for the tournament:

That number was equaled thanks to a birdie at the last from Na, and the duo headed to sudden death.

Although, the match-up was not exactly aesthetically pleasing. This battle was to beauty as the Phoenix Open crowd is to placidity.

Grillo had what looked to be a gimme for the win on the first playoff hole. The main word is "looked," as Grillo proceeded to do this:

Going back to the 18th, Grillo pushed his drive in a fairway bunker, giving Na the edge. The advantage quickly vanished by a hook usually reserved for a 36-handicapper:

Na continued to make a mess from there, giving the hole, and tournament, to Grillo.

Na was not the only one who faltered at Silverado Country Club. Brendan Steele was hoping to go wire-to-wire at Napa, with Thursday's 63 giving him a commanding lead for most of the weekend. Yet, on a day when his competitors were in the red, Steele's scorecard was filled with black, logging eight bogeys on the afternoon. The UC Riverside product turned in a 76 to finish t-17.

With Steele going south, Jason Bohn seemed to be in the driver's seat, entering the relatively easy par-5 16th with a one-stroke lead. Alas, Bohn chunked his third shot, and failed to convert his par-saving putt, giving, in essence, two shots back to the field.

Harold Varner III, the first African-American player to advance to the PGA Tour via the circuit, entered the final round just strokes off the lead. While the 25-year-old tour freshman has a ton of potential -- despite a 5'9", 165 lbs. stature, Varner hits it as far as anyone -- Sunday was not his finest effort, barely breaking 80 and finishing with the day's highest score.

Not to say the entire proceedings were a train wreck. Tyrone van Aswegen provided the feel-good narrative of the weekend. The South African spent the morning in the emergency room, battling a severe case of dehydration and vertigo. However, thanks to a fog delay, van Aswegen was able to recover and get to the course for his tee time. With a steady 68, he finished just one shot out of the playoff.

But the real star was Grillo, who played five PGA Tour events last season, making the cut in four of them with three top 10s. Albeit in sluggish fashion, the native of Argentina was able to capture his first win on the PGA Tour. The victory grants entrance to the Masters, Tournament of Champions and PGA Championship.

And there's nothing ugly about that.