Denis Pugh said the secret to Brian Gay's success at the Humana Challenge was that he controlled his game better than his rivals.
The Texan claimed the fourth PGA Tour victory of his career in California by overcoming David Lingmerth and Charles Howell III in a play-off, after Scott Stallings had thrown away a five-shot lead going into the final round.
Pugh says the work that Gay has done with coaches Grant Waite and Joe Mayo to add distance and control to his swing was key to the victory and enabled him to outlast his rivals on a rollercoaster last day.
"He was the last man standing really," said the Sky Sports pundit. "He just let the others make their errors and he kept control of his game.
"He said he's been working hard on his game and has made some changes, and the two coaches he mentioned really work hard with launch monitors and understand what the ball's doing.
"I think that's a big bonus.
"Many people talk about what their swing's doing, but he's linked his swing to the golf ball.
"For him, it's a question of understanding his game and he was there when everybody else faded away.
"Howell III should have won, Stallings should have won and those were people that really lost the tournament. He was there standing and he wins the tournament."
Howell III carded a final-round 64 and looked in good shape for only his third PGA Tour victory and his first since 2007.
But he was outdone by Gay on the second extra hole and Sky Sports expert Peter Oosterhuis said he will learn from the experience and challenge in other tournaments in 2013.
"I certainly have sympathy for him," he said.
"He's a good kid, he's a talented player and he had a great opportunity to win, but couldn't take it.
"He will be around and will be challenging numerous times this year."