Justin Rose lands first win in four years at Pebble Beach
There are many who will argue that the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is always a bit of a mess, what with a bunch of amateurs slowing the pace of play down to glacial levels.
This year's edition was literally a mess because the wind got up on Saturday, forcing a suspension of play and delays that couldn't be caught up with by Sunday evening.
Irritatingly the gusts really weren't that atrocious - it was just that the greens were swift and the ball wouldn't sit still on them; a smarter course set-up would have accommodated the long-term weather forecast.
It remained blustery on Sunday but by Monday morning, when the field returned to complete the back nine, conditions were dead flat. In other words, we were denied a weekend of volatile golf and instead had the mess referenced above.
(It could have been worse: back in 1996 the entire tournament was cancelled after 36 holes and in 1998 it wasn't finished until - wait for it - August.)
When the final round finally began England's Justin Rose found himself top of the leaderboard. A hole-in-one at Spyglass on Friday had got him into the top 12 after 36 holes but he still began Sunday in need of catching the pace-setters and was available at 28.027/1.
Making a move
That morning he completed a 6-under 65 at Monterey Peninsula to hit top spot priced 3.211/5. His nearest challengers Peter Malnati at 11.010/1 and Kurt Kitayama at 6.25/1 were on 11-under with Keith Mitchell a further shot back (8.88/1).
Viktor Hovland was among those on 9-under and the market was wary, rating him 8.615/2 but he could never get it going in the final round and was never a factor.
Disrupted final round
By Sunday's end Rose was 3-under for the final round, 15-under for the event, two clear of three players and priced 1.684/6.
That trio was Denny McCarthy (who had played 15 holes in 7-under) on 18.0, Peter Malnati (2-under for the round and, like Rose, having nine holes to play) on 12.5 and Brendon Todd (who the market liked at 5-under for the round through 12) on 6.2.
McCarthy would ride the wave, complete an 8-under 64 to set a target of 14-under but the market knew it was not enough - he could be backed at 70.069/1 as he signed his card.
That market was right to respect Todd who opened with two more birdies to close into 4.67/2 but he could get nothing out of the final four holes as he went one better than McCarthy with a 15-under tally for the week, one Brandon Wu equalled on the last.
Rose, meanwhile, had made birdies at 11, 13 and 14 to stamp his authority. He dropped to 1.412/5 after the first, 1.141/7 after the second, 1.041/25 after the third, stood on the 17th tee at 1.011/100 and you couldn't back him when he found the 18th fairway.
Generally priced 44.043/1 before the off, backers will have enjoyed his final round progress to an 11th PGA Tour win and first since January 2019.
Many might take note of his major aspirations this year.
He's on record as saying that he concentrates on them these days and he does have seven top 25s in his last 12 of them including four top 10s.
Given his last two wins are in California he'll surely be excited about the LA Country Club hosting the US Open in June.
Gavins the man
A very fine DP World Tour Desert Swing - taking in an educational first edition of the Hero Cup, a superb victory for Victor Perez in Abu Dhabi, and a tremendous head-to-head between Patrick Reed and the ultimately victorious Rory McIlroy in Dubai - came to a remarkable conclusion with a second main tour victory for England's Daniel Gavins in the Ras al Khaimah Championship.
In the two tournaments Al Hamra hosted last season the winners had both gone low (Ryan Fox 22-under and Nicolai Hojgaard 24-under) but the early chatter at the course was that it would not be so yielding this time around.
That said, the three co-leaders at halfway were on track to repeat those scores on 11-under but the weekend proved tougher.
The final round began with South Africa's Zander Lombard out front on 16-under. He was one clear of Rasmus Hojgaard but the Dane owned favouritism: 2.767/4 to Lombard's 3.814/5.
The latter had held four previous DP World Tour 54-hole leads (shared or otherwise), was yet to convert the win and the market would be proved justified in doubting his ability to do so on this fifth occasion.
He would play a magnificent approach to the last to gift himself a last chance of forcing a play-off but a flat level-par round was another Sunday letdown for him.
Pavon backed into odds-on
The first challenger to his start-of-round lead had come from another performer yet to cross the finish line first - Mathieu Pavon.
The Frenchman completed the first four holes in 5-under to leap into a brief three-shot lead. Available at three figures before the off he was now backed as low as 1.9420/21.
For the price to have gone so low seemed heedless of both his past record, that he had 14 holes to play, the availability of birdies opportunities to come for others, and also Steve Rawlings' frequent observation that someone often goes odds on during the final round of a DP World Tour event and doesn't win.
Had Pavon played those final 14 holes in level-par he would have lifted the trophy so the field didn't entirely take advantage of the par-breaking chances.
Instead, his record and Steve's shrewdness proved enlightening as the early pace-setter played those closing holes in 4-over.
Gavins run of six birdies in seven
The new man to chase was Gavins who defied common wisdom by taking bogey at the first ("the worst start imaginable") but then birdied six of the next seven before dropping another shot at the ninth.
He was 18-under at that point and priced 2.186/5, two clear of Pavon (6.86/1), Lombard (6.05/1) and the Swede Alexander Bjork (5.14/1). Hojgaard was 1-over for the day and four off the lead but still rated 6.25/1.
The market was right to judge Bjork Gavins' closest threat. Hojgaard opened the back nine with a double bogey, Pavon was heading south and Lombard was swapping birdies with bogeys.
Bjork had been available at 40.039/1 before the off, Gavins was generally around 200.0199/1. They spent the back nine trading favouritism - they were tied on 17-under through 12 before Gavins opened up what seemed a decisive two-shot lead as they both played the par-5 final hole.
Gavins twice into the drink
Bjork was on the green in three but 33-feet from the hole; Gavins on the tee had been backed at 1.021/50 whereupon he carved his drive into water.
He did the same with his fairway wood approach to the green shortly after Bjork had three-putted for bogey.
Gavins eventually faced a double bogey putt from 26 feet. Those watching knew he needed a two-putt for a play-off, he believed he needed to hole it for a play-off, hence he was relieved but far from ecstatic when it found the hole for a frankly astounding triumph.
Bjork joined Pavon in having been backed odds on and Lombard was briefly as low as 2.727/4 when he gave himself that late outside shot at extra holes.
A terrifically entertaining final round but one which might have prompted a few heart tremors for Gavins backers.
The winner is an intriguing one for punters to assess. He has only two top five finishes on the DP World Tour in 97 starts but both are wins.
Also the mixed messages on the last: two blows into water and some wonky thinking, yet also resilience and a superb putt.