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Kizzire finally solves riddle of 18th fairway

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HONOLULU – Tied for the lead through 71 holes, Patton Kizzire did what he’d done all week on No. 18 at Waialae Country Club, carving a driver high into the tropical air. He watched as the ball just ran through the fairway and into a difficult lie.

He couldn't reach the green with his next shot on the par-5 hole, and he failed to make birdie. That forced a playoff with James Hahn, which would stretch for six holes.

But on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th, Kizzire changed his game plan.

“I hit a 3-wood in the first playoff hole,” he said. “That was a suggestion by someone that was pretty close to me, which I wasn't crazy about the 3-wood play, but it made sense because I hadn't been hitting that fairway.”


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Kizzire, who was 1-for-4 in hitting the 18th fairway for the week before the playoff, didn’t do any better with a 3-wood, again finding the right rough and again failing to make birdie.

“When we went back [for the second playoff hole], I was like, man, I don't want to be here all day. I want to make an eagle and win this thing. So I went with driver and hit a couple of nice drives there,” Kizzire said. “It's a tough, tough fairway to hit. There's no right or wrong club. You've just got to commit to it and do it.”

He hit driver on No. 18 for the second playoff hole, finding the fairway and leaving just 210 yards to the hole, and made birdie. He again found the fairway hitting driver on the fourth playoff hole and made birdie, but pulled his drive his next time down the hole (for the fifth playoff frame) and made par.

Ultimately, Kizzire won the playoff on the par-3 17th hole, the sixth overtime frame, when he scrambled for par and Hahn missed his par attempt from 10 feet.