Lyle Prevails in Playoff at Knoxville Open

By Sports NetworkJune 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourKNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Australias Jarrod Lyle won his second Nationwide Tour title of the year to move within a victory of a promotion to the PGA TOUR, beating Chris Kirk with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff in the Knoxville Open.
 
Lyle, the Mexico Open winner in February, closed with a 3-under 69 on Sunday to match Kirk (67) at 19-under 269 on the Fox Den Country Club course. Lyle earned $90,000 to jump from sixth to first on the money list with $281,939, with the top 25 at the end of the season earning 2009 PGA TOUR cards.
 
After Kirk birdied the final hole to post 19 under, Lyle answered with a par to send it to the playoff. Lyle blocked his tee shot on the playoff hole'the 18th'and got a break when his ball hit the trees and bounced into the adjacent 10th fairway, giving him a clear shot to the green on the 597-yard par 5.
 
I had a hanging lie and it wasnt very inviting with all that water in front of the green, but I got up there and committed to the shot, said said Lyle, coming off a 48th-place tie in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
 
He hit a hybrid onto the fringe about 70 feet from the hole, then chipped to 10 inches and tapped in for birdie.
 
Kirks long approach shot from the left rough sailed well left of the green. He pitched to 10 feet and missed the putt.
 
The putt in the playoff was on the same line as in regulation and it just didnt break, Kirk said. Jarrod being able to make birdie from the other fairway was pretty incredible, so youve got to hand it to him.
 
Kyle Reifers (66) and D.J. Brigman (70) tied for third at 17 under, and Chris Smith (68) and Doug Barron (70) followed at 16 under.
 
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