Barber ran off back-to-back birdies on the back nine, and he had a 12-foot birdie attempt at the 18th that he missed on the low side.
Hughes was watching from off the green, and the prospect of winning became more real with each putt that missed - first Barber, then Norlander.
EUROPEAN TOUR: Victor Dubuisson showed his ability to compete in big tournaments when a sparkling 8-under 64 gave him a one-shot lead in the World Tour Championship after three rounds, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. "Congratulations to him. He played well".
'I made the putt of my life right there, ' he said. But he holed out from there and watched on as the three others were unable to make their par putts.
Hughes rolled his par putt perfectly from the fringe to the green and into the bottom of the cup - capped off with a giant fist-pump. "I probably sound like a really cheap person right now when I say that".
After the putt, he assumed that everyone would make the putts and the playoff would continue to 18.More news: World Markets Recover After Trump Win
Hughes had an eight-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win but missed and needed to two-foot comeback putt to stay in the hunt.
"It was nice to bounce back and to feel like I'm going this way not stepping back", Hughes said.
"It was nearly like I had been punched in the face there, making a triple after everything seemed to be going pretty smoothly", Hughes said. My shots when I'm calm out there are pretty good and hopefully we can accomplish that tomorrow. I didn't have my best stuff by any means but I found a way to dig deep and get in that playoff.
Indeed, Hughes had walked off the course all four days with the lead. But since everyone was putting under the same conditions, he thought it was fair.
"I was definitely thinking about it last night", Hughes said. "But I am proud of the way I played". "But I came out here to try to clear my mind, tell myself that I have a one-in-four chance".
The win will seem improbable considering Hughes' background. - The largest PGA Tour playoff of the year at the RSM Classic didn't finish before darkness Sunday, and it won't include Billy Horschel when it resumes. The world number 215 is making only his 10th US PGA start, trying to improve on his best showing, a share of 25th at last year's Travelers Championship. "There's so many great players here, it's just incredible". It may be asking too much for the breakthrough to come this early in his US Tour career, but 7-1 from just one shot behind a fellow rookie maiden is well worth chancing.