PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — It took three playoff holes, but Angus Flanagan punched his ticket to the Genesis Invitational with some playoff magic.

Flanagan, who’s from England and plays for the University of Minnesota, birdied the third playoff hole to edge Tim Widing of the University of San Francisco and earn the final spot in the PGA Tour’s annual visit to Riviera Country Club, which starts on Thursday.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Flanagan said moments after receiving his tournament credential just off the third green. “Being able to tee it up against the best in the world, players I’ve looked up to. … seeing guys out here that growing up, looking up to, having their pictures on my wall, it is surreal. It’s probably not going to sink in till tomorrow morning when I come back out here and I have my player’s badge.”

In Flanagan’s group was PGA Tour pro Denny McCarthy.

“We had a great day out there. He’s got a really solid game, good enough to play at this level, I believe,” McCarthy said.

After Flanagan bogeyed the 18th hole and walked off the green thinking he was going to miss out by a shot, McCarthy gave him some words of encouragement.

“I said, ‘Even if it didn’t work out today, you got great things ahead of you.’ He was super positive,” he said.

McCarthy said watching Flanagan shake off a bad break and taking a bogey 6 on the seventh hole was telling. “He kept it together after that. He was very talkative to me. The whole day he wanted to learn about how I became a pro, asking me questions, picking my brain.

“Having Angus today, he’s a really nice kid and he’s got a bright future. It was good to see his game,” McCarthy.

McCarthy was sufficiently impressed that he decided to walk with the group of spectators watching the playoff.

“You can contribute a lot of what happened today to him,” Minnesota men’s golf coach Justin Smith said of McCarthy. “He’s just the most classy person. It was an incredible experience for Angus.”

Moments after making his clinching birdie, Flanagan reached into his golf bag to quickly spread word of his victory.

“I texted my teammates, my girlfriend, my dad,” he said.

Smith, who may caddie for Flanagan this week, said Riviera suits his game.

“Angus drives it amazing, he’s playing well, his iron control. … I mean, he’s just a great ball-striker,” Smith said. “You gotta control your ball to get it to the right spot on these greens.”

Flanagan is efficient and doesn’t spend a lot of time overthinking his next shot. He simply gets up and goes.

“He’s playing golf shot, he never plays golf swing,” Smith said.

Flanagan played in one other PGA Tour event, the 2020 3M Open in Minnesota. He earned that spot after winning the 2020 Minnesota Golf Champions event. He also won medalist honors at the 2020 Western Amateur Championship. But now he joins a stacked Genesis field that includes the top four in the Official World Golf Ranking and seven of the top ten.

“Everything we do is to try to see these young men play at the highest level and we had an incredible opportunity here and he goes out and performs like that,” Smith said during a walk back to the clubhouse. “It’s amazing to see him do it.”

Widing had a chance to win the event outright on 18 but he lipped out a putt. His PGA Tour playing partner Will Zalatoris was nonetheless impressed.

“I couldn’t believe it was six years ago that I played in the first Showcase,” said Zalatoris, who won the inaugural event in 2015. “It’s a lot of fun. I was rooting hard for Timmy today. It’s kind of crazy to think that six years ago I was him. It’s fun to see the next generation come up.

“We’re going to see a lot of him. He played a heck of a round today. He can absolutely murder it off the tee, he hit some great irons shots, he made a bunch of really nice par saves. All around he played a really nice round today. If he keeps doing what he’s doing, we’re going to see a lot of him.”

Genesis Invitational Collegiate Showcase scores

T-1. Angus Flanagan, Minnesota* 71 (E)
T-1. Tim Widing, San Francisco, 71 (E)
3. Kyle Petrovich, Oakland University, 72 (+1)
4. Callum Bruce, San Diego State, 75 (+4)
5. Alex Goff, Kentucky, 76 (+5)
6. Bryce Waters, Wyoming, 77 (+6)
7. Kyle Suppa, USC, 78 (+7)
* won in a playoff

Genesis Invitational Collegiate Showcase winners

2021 – Angus Flanagan, Minnesota
2020 – Sean Yu, San Jose
2019 – Lukas Euler, Kentucky
2018 – Scottie Scheffler, Texas
2017 – Sahith Theegala, Pepperdine
2016 – Charlie Danielson, Illinois
2015 – Will Zalatoris, Wake Forest



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