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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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Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.

According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

"My team and I feel like it's best not to play next week in the Northern Trust," Fowler wrote. "I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!!"

Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

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Playoff streaks in jeopardy for Garcia, Haas

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.


Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos


Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

One of the 13 playoff streaks is assured of ending next week, as Luke Donald has missed most of the year with a back injury. Other players to qualify for every Tour postseason include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.

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Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.

A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.

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Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: