Matsuyama beats Simpson to win Phoenix playoff


Another final-round comeback, another title at TPC Scottsdale for Hideki Matsuyama. Here's how things ended up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where Matsuyama went back-to-back after beating Webb Simpson in a four-hole playoff:

Leaderboard: Hideki Matsuyama (-17, won on fourth playoff hole), Webb Simpson (-17), Louis Oosthuizen (-16), Rickie Fowler (-15), J.J. Spaun (-15), Byeong-Hun An (-14)

What it means: Matsuyama chased down Rickie Fowler at this event last year, but this time it was An who he had in his sights. A 5-under 66 got him into a playoff with Simpson, who posted the total first, and the first three extra holes were halved with pars. After Simpson missed a 25-foot putt on the fourth extra hole, it left the door open for Matsuyama who converted his birdie putt to successfully defend his title.

Round of the day: Simpson hadn't recorded a top-10 finish since June, but he made a quick run up the leaderboard with a bogey-free 64. Simpson sparked his round with an eagle on the par-5 third hole, then closed with three birdies over the final four holes to force overtime with Matsuyama, although he remains winless since the 2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Best of the rest: Oosthuizen notched a solo third-place finish after closing with a 6-under 65 that included a strong finish. The South African made the turn in 32 before notching three birdies in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 14-17 that gave him his best worldwide finish since last year's WGC-Dell Match Play Championship.

Biggest disappointment: An started the day in the lead, and built his advantage to three shots midway through the round. But bogeys at Nos. 10 and 11 dropped him out of the lead, and An tumbled even further after closing with sloppy bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18. A 2-over 73 included a back-nine 40 and left An still in search of his first PGA Tour win.

Shot of the day: Just when the playoff seemed like it might last until Tuesday, Matsuyama rolled in a 15-footer for birdie on No. 17, a putt that he accentuated with a fist pump before the ball found the hole.

Quote of the day: "It was a struggle, especially that playoff, but I'm very happy to win." - Matsuyama