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Kizzire beats Hahn on sixth playoff hole to win Sony

By Nick MentaJanuary 15, 2018, 2:30 am

Patton Kizzire made par on the sixth extra hole to defeat James Hahn and win the Sony Open in the longest playoff on the PGA Tour in the last five years. Here’s how things finally ended after a whole lot of free golf Sunday in Hawaii:

Leaderboard: Kizzire (-17), Hahn (-17), Tom Hoge (-16), Webb Simpson (-15), Brian Stuard (-15), Brian Harman (-15)

What it means: This is Kizzire’s second PGA Tour victory after he won his first title earlier this season at Mayakoba. Playing in the final group with Hoge and Harman, Kizzire parred his first nine holes in a row before going eagle-birdie at Nos. 10-11. He dropped his only shot of the day at 13 and parred his way into the clubhouse to tie Hahn at 17 under after missing a birdie putt on the 72nd green that would have won him the tournament in regulation. Kizzire had an opportunity to win on the fourth extra hole, when he missed a birdie, but had to dodge four other tournament-winning attempts from Hahn. Finally, on the sixth extra hole, at the par-3 17th, Kizzire two-putted from the fringe to take the title. The No. 1 player on the Web.com Tour money list in 2015 now sits atop the FedExCup points standings in 2018.

Best of the rest: After posting 17 under well ahead of the final group, Hahn waited out multiple groups before finally returning to the 18th tee to face off with Kizzire. Hahn had four different opportunities to win in the playoff but missed four different putts, including a 6-footer for birdie on the fifth extra hole, any of which would have ended it. His putter failed him one last time on the final hole, when he failed to get up and down from off the green, his par putt lipping out. This is Hahn’s first playoff loss on the PGA Tour following triumphs at Riviera in 2015 and at Quail Hollow in 2016.

Round of the day: Seven back to start the day, Hahn vaulted up the leaderboard with an 8-under 62, the low round of the week by one. Hahn made nine birdies – including six in a seven-hole stretch from Nos. 8-15 – against a single bogey. This is the two-time Tour winner’s best finish since a solo third last May at the Byron Nelson.

Biggest disappointment: The 54-hole leader, Hoge missed a 9-foot birdie putt on the 72nd that would sent him to extra holes with Hahn and Kizzire. Two under on his day through 15 holes, Hoge came undone at the 16th hole when he failed to find the green from a greenside bunker and then failed to get up and down from the rough, resulting in a double-bogey-6. An even-par 70 in the final round left him in solo third, netting him his best career finish on Tour.

Shot of the day: This hole-out from Kizzire at the par-4 10th.

Little did he know then that we would need to play 14 more holes to win his second PGA Tour title.

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Lexi involved in a(nother) rules controversy at LPGA Thailand

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2018, 2:50 am

Jessica Korda stole the show this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand, winning the star-studded event by four strokes in her first start since undergoing serious jaw surgery to address a significant overbite that led to ailments ranging from facial cramping to headaches to sleep apnea.

But just four strokes behind Korda finished Lexi Thompson, who may have challenged for the win on Sunday if not for another rules controversy during the second round of the event.

Thompson, who was famously assessed two two-stroke penalties last year at the ANA Inspiration that ultimately cost her the title, was hit with another two-stroke penalty on Friday in Thailand after she moved a sign out of her swing path at Siam Country Club.

The 23-year-old mistakenly thought a billboard on the 15th hole was a moveable object, when in fact, the local rule deemed this particular advertisement a "temporary immovable obstruction."

The two-stroke penalty was assesed after the round, where the par she made on the hole became a double bogey and what would have been a 66 ballooned into a 68.

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After Further Review: JT may face serious Ryder Cup heckling

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 26, 2018, 2:09 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Thomas getting heckler thrown out ...

Justin Thomas polished off a playoff win at the Honda Classic despite the efforts of a fan who screamed for his ball to head for a fairway bunker on the 16th hole.

Thomas signaled for the fan to be ejected after striping his tee shot on No. 16, telling him, “Enjoy your day, buddy. You’re done.” It’s the second straight week that Thomas has had issues with fans, having bristled at some of the behavior he encountered while grouped with Tiger Woods at the Genesis Open.

Thomas’ stance is that golf has earned a reputation as a “classy sport” that should place it above jeering and catcalls from the gallery. It’s a view that is as noble as it is unachievable.

As long as tournaments continue to serve alcohol well into the afternoon hours, there will be outlier fans who will look to get a rise out of players with comments before, during or after swings. Thomas was within his right to ask for the fan’s removal, though I’d imagine the European fans planning to attend this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris might take note of the apparent impact the gallery can have on Thomas while in the heat of battle. – Will Gray


On the debate over rolling back the ball ...

The opening salvos in what promises to be one of the most polarizing eras in golf were exchanged this week. First, USGA CEO Mike Davis, via Jack Nicklaus, announced his arrival: “Mike said, ‘We’re getting there [on the distance issue]. We’re going to get there. I need your help when we get there,’” the Golden Bear explained when asked about the growing drumbeat to curtail how far modern players hit the golf ball.

A few days later, former Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein fired back: “Mike Davis has not told us (Acushnet/Titleist) that he is close and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there.”

Perhaps this will turn out to be a misunderstanding and the game’s rules makers and manufacturers will all end up on the same sideline, but it doesn’t feel that way right now. Rex Hoggard


On Tiger turning up the notch on his comeback ...

It’s safe to say the Tiger Woods comeback is ahead of schedule. After looking lost with his long game in his first two starts of the year, he led the field in proximity to the hole and third in driving distance. He flighted and shaped shots both directions, seemingly at ease, looking nothing like the player we saw at Torrey and Riviera.

If that form continues at Bay Hill and beyond, this has the potential to be one of the greatest comebacks in golf history.  Ryan Lavner


On Korda's journey from pain to promise ...

Jessica Korda is the leader in the clubhouse for best story of the year in women’s golf. She won her first start of the season Sunday at the Honda LPGA Thailand just a little more than two months after undergoing a complex and painful double-jaw surgery to alleviate headaches caused by her jaw’s alignment.

She did so in record-breaking fashion, shattering tournament scoring records against a star-studded field that included the top six players in the world. If Korda can so quickly overcome the challenges of that daunting offseason, there is no telling what else this determined young American star might achieve this year.  Randall Mell

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List loses playoff, may have gained performance coach

By Randall MellFebruary 26, 2018, 1:52 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Luke List didn’t win in his playoff with Justin Thomas Sunday at the Honda Classic, but he thinks he may have found a pretty good new performance coach.

The guy’s name is “Moose.”

He’s a former Australian rules football player.

Actually, his full name is Brent Stevens, a friend of List’s caddie, who put them on the phone together for the first time last week at the Genesis Open.

List liked a lot of the performance keys Stevens gave him and posted some of the advice in his yardage book, so he could reference them.


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“Effort over result” was one of the ideas List scribbled down.

“I feel like I've got the ability to play at this level,” said List, who was seeking his first victory Sunday at PGA National. “It just hasn't quite happened yet, but the more I think about it, I feel like the worse I do. So I focus on what's in front of me, the effort into the shot. I did a really good job of that this week.”

List said he’s interested in maybe visiting Australia to take Moose’s training to another level.

“He's a very fit dude,” List said. “He's got some clients that he brings down to south of Melbourne, to run the sand dunes,” List said, “and if we keep in contact, which I'm sure we will, I'm going to have to go down there and get my butt kicked.”

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Both in contention, Thomas hears 'crickets' from Woods

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 26, 2018, 1:36 am

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods has become a friend, confidant and something of an adviser for Justin Thomas.

Whenever Thomas has been in contention in his young career, Woods has often texted him advice or good luck on the eve of the final round.

That wasn’t the case Saturday night after the third round of the Honda Classic.

“Got crickets last night,” Thomas said, laughing.


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That’s because Woods was in contention, too, beginning the final round seven shots off the lead.

“I knew he had one thing in mind, and we both had the same thing in mind,” Thomas said. “I thought that was pretty funny.”

Thomas added that he was “very impressed” with Woods’ 12th-place finish at PGA National.