Grillo beats Na in playoff at Frys

Emiliano Grillo of Argentina won his first event as a PGA Tour member, but he had to play the 18th hole three times in the final round to do it.

The 23-year-old Grillo holed an eight-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to beat Kevin Na and win the Open, the 2015-16 season opener, on the North Course at Silverado Country Club in Napa.

Grillo, who lipped out a four-foot birdie putt that would have won it on the first extra hole, became the first player to win his initial event as a PGA Tour member since Russell Henley captured the 2013 Sony Open in Hawaii.

“I missed that short putt there, but I hit this one good,” said Grillo, who closed out a 3-under-par 69 with a 24-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. “My team asked me (after the miss) if I was OK, and I said. ‘Sure.’ I just stayed positive, hit a perfect putt and it went in.

” … (I get to play in) the Masters and it can’t get much better than this. It’s awesome.”

Grillo, who won the Tour Championship two weeks ago for his third top-10 in the Finals to earn his spot on the big tour, bounced back down the stretch after making three bogeys in a span of seven holes through No. 15.

Na, 32, who left Diamond Bar High before his senior year to turn pro in 2001 and won the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open for his only PGA Tour victory, sank a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to close out a 70.

Trying to reach the green in two, he hit driver off the fairway on both playoff holes, but pulled the second one into trouble behind a tree and was looking at a bogey putt when Grillo made the winner.

“I hit driver off the deck five or six times this week and hit all the others perfect,” Na said. “It was the only club I could hit to get all the way down to the right on that hole. On that last one, it was dark and the ball was below my feet.

“Maybe I should have hit 3-wood.”

Tyrone Van Aswegen of South Africa carded a 68 to finish one stroke back in a tie for third with Justin Thomas, who totaled 69, and Jason Bohn, who had a 70.

Patrick Rodgers of Stanford shot 70 and wound up another shot behind in a tie for sixth with Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, who had a 68, Justin Rose of England, who struggled late in a 72, and Kyle Reifers, who also came in at 72.

Brendan Steele of Idyllwild and UC Riverside, who led after each of the first three rounds, stumbled to a 76 and tied for 17th, while No. 3-ranked Rory McIlroy tied for 26th after a 69.

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