Monday playoff looms at Zurich after Kisner hole-out

By Will GrayMay 1, 2017, 12:29 am

The weather nearly washed out the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but after an exciting finish near dusk two teams will return Monday to battle for the title. Here's how things ended up in the Crescent City, where a playoff looms in the morning at TPC Louisiana:

Leaderboard: Jonas Blixt/Cameron Smith (-27), Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown (-27), Kelly Kraft/Kevin Tway (-23), Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer (-22)

What it means: Blixt and Smith started the day with a four-shot lead, but Kisner and Brown rocketed past them after only six holes to take a lead when rain halted play for more than six hours. Once players got back on the course, Blixt and Smith birdied No. 17 to take a one-shot lead only to watch Kisner hole out for eagle on the final hole to force overtime. Regulation play ended essentially in the dark, meaning all four men will return to the course at 9 a.m. ET Monday, where Smith will look to win for the first time while Kisner and Brown will hope to cap a sizeable comeback.

Round of the day: Kisner and Brown started the day four shots off the pace, but when weather halted play after just six holes they had already taken the lead. Thanks in large part to six birdies in a row from Kisner on Nos. 2-7, the pair birdied 10 of their first 11 holes and then added one more highlight on No. 18 with their backs against the wall to close out a round of 12-under 60.

Best of the rest: The team of Kraft and Tway fired an 11-under 61 that moved them up 11 spots on the leaderboard. The pair birdied five out of six from Nos. 2-7, then played their final eight holes in 6 under including an eagle from Kraft on the final hole. For Tway, it's a second straight T-3 finish after contending last week in San Antonio.

Biggest disappointment: It's tough to be disappointed when a playoff spot still looms, but Blixt and Smith felt like they had this thing wrapped up. After a four-shot lead disappeared, the two used the lengthy weather delay to reset and grabbed the outright lead with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 before Kisner's shot at the buzzer meant all four players had to come back out on Monday.

Shot of the day: With Smith already in close for birdie, Kisner managed to hole his chip from 95 feet to force a playoff and spark a raucous celebration with the fans that stuck around behind the 18th green in near-darkness.

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TT postscript: This 65 better than Aronimink 62

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 9:21 pm

ATLANTA – The start wasn’t much to look at, but that finish was something else. Tiger Woods eagled the final hole on Thursday and shares the 18-hole lead at the Tour Championship. Here are the things you know you want to know:

• First of all, let’s give a pat on the back to the man who most deserves it today: Me. Early this morning, I sent this tweet:



Never doubt my good feelings. Ben Crenshaw doesn’t have my good feelings. We may have 54 holes to play, but I gotta good feeling we’re going to be changing that Tiger Tracker avatar Sunday night.

• Now onto Tiger. After all, he did hit 10 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens in regulation and took 28 putts. It wasn’t looking good early when he had nine putts through four holes and was 1 over par. But he birdied Nos. 5 and 6, turned in 1 under, and really turned it on down the stretch with two birdies and an eagle over his final seven holes. And if you take a good look at the scorecard below you’ll notice he didn’t make a bogey after the first hole.



• How good is a 65 at East Lake? Better than his opening 62 at Aronimink, according to Woods: “This was by far better than the 62 at Aronimink. Conditions were soft there. This is – it's hard to get the ball closer. There's so much chase in it. If you drive the ball in the rough, you know you can't get the ball close.”

Woods added that you had to play “conservatively” and be patient – take what the course allowed. Tiger missed five putts – four of them for birdie – inside 15 feet. But in the 93-degree heat, he kept his composure and made putts of 26 and 28 feet for birdie, and 28 feet for eagle.

• This week feels different. It feels like Tiger is really ready to win again. He seems very serious, very focused. He talked about “getting the W” on Wednesday and said on Thursday, “[T]he objective is to always win.”

After shooting 65, Woods signed a few autographs and eventually made his way to the putting green. If he gets those 15-footer to fall, we’re going to be two wins away from tying Sammy.

• So, what about that eagle on 18, you ask? Tiger said he “hammered” a driver – which was listed at 320 yards – and then hit a 5-wood from 256 yards to 28 feet. As for the putt: “It took forever for that putt to start breaking, grain coming down off the left. But once it snagged it, it was going straight right.”



Right into the cup. Right into the lead. Our man is making history this week.

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Watch: Highlights from Tiger's first round at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 8:30 pm

Tiger Woods is back at the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time since 2013, and he provided the fans in Atlanta with some highlights on the first day of competition.

Still looking for his first win of the year after coming close on numerous occasions, Woods started the day off by splitting the fairway on the first hole with the driver, not even bothering to watch his ball land.

Despite the picture-perfect opening tee shot, Woods would go on to bogey the first hole, but he rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 5 and 6, making putts from 26 and 15 feet.

Tiger's best shot on the front nine came on the par-4 seventh hole after he found the pine straw behind a tree with his drive. The 14-time major champ punched one under the tree limbs and onto the green, then calmly two-putted for par from about 40 feet en route to a front-side 1-under 34.

Woods added two more birdies on the par-4 12th and 14th holes, rolling in putts of 3 feet and 7 feet after a couple of great looking approach shots.

Woods finished his round with a vintage eagle on the par-5 18th hole, finding the green with a 5-wood from 256 yards out and then sinking the 28-foot putt.

The eagle at the last gave Woods a share of the early first-round lead with Rickie Fowler at 5-under 65.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 8:20 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.


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Garcia (66) peaking for Ryder Cup?

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 20, 2018, 6:17 pm

Sergio Garcia might be finding his form just in time to terrorize the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Garcia made seven birdies during an opening round of 5-under 66 to sit just two shots off the early lead at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters.

It was Garcia’s fifth consecutive round of par or better, a stretch that includes rounds of 66-65-67-70-66. That solid play at the Wyndham Championship wasn’t enough to extend his PGA Tour season – he didn’t qualify for the FedExCup playoffs – but the Spaniard is starting to round into form with the Ryder Cup on deck.


Full-field scores from the Portugal Masters


A few weeks ago he was a controversial selection by European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. After missing the cut in all four majors, Garcia could have been left at home in favor of such players as Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace (a three-time winner this season who, once again, is at the top of the leaderboard in Portugal), Matt Fitzpatrick or Thomas Pieters. But Bjorn tabbed Garcia, noting his Ryder Cup experience, his sterling foursomes record and his influence in the team room. If Phil Mickelson is the U.S. player under the most pressure to perform in Paris, all eyes will be on Garcia next week – especially since it could be one of his final opportunities to wear a European uniform, as he’ll be 40 for the 2020 matches.

Garcia’s 66 matched his lowest opening round of the year and puts him in position to secure just his second top-10 since March.