Kizzire Survives Marathon Playoff to Win Sony Open


 

With all due respect to Dustin Johnson, Patton Kizzire is probably the hottest golfer on the planet right now. The 6’5″ Auburn Tiger won his second tournament of the 2017-18 season on Sunday evening at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and he needed 78 holes to do it.

 

Kizzire entered the final round one stroke back of 54-hole leader Tom Hoge, but found himself with a birdie putt for the win on the 72nd green. He missed the 15-footer, but earned his way into a three-way playoff with Hoge and James Hahn, who fired an 8-under par 62 to post the early clubhouse lead.

 

The playoff would last six holes before Kizzire was able to shake off Hahn, who had four putts to win the event the went begging. The win was Kizzire’s second of the year and his PGA Tour career. He moves into 54th in the Official World Golf Rankings. 

The Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson wrapped a wild week in Hawaii.

Patton Kizzire never lost his cool even in the midst of a wild week on Oahu he won’t soon forget.

He woke up Saturday morning to a push alert about a ballistic missile strike on Hawaii that turned out to be a false alarm.

Kizzire received a text the next morning from the PGA Tour about another strike, this one real, of the labor variety. The camera and audio production crew for Golf Channel walked off the job during the final round of the Sony Open when contract negotiations stalled. While it didn’t affect anyone’s game, it was no less strange to see so many TV towers that were vacant during the final round at Waialae Country Club.

If that wasn’t enough, the caddie of fellow Auburn alum Blayne Barber collapsed and was in critical condition with bleeding and swelling in his brain. So it was only fitting that the Sony Open concluded Sunday with the longest playoff in its 53-year history, ending along the shores of the Pacific Ocean on the par-3 17th hole when Kizzire made par to outlast James Hahn on the sixth extra hole.

“It has been a peculiar week,” Kizzire said. “We have a great friend that is in critical condition — our prayers to him and his family,” he said. “The missile threat was wild, and the camera strike was unexpected, as well. So among all that, I was able to focus on playing golf. And I was glad to get the win.”

 

For a guy who took longer than he wanted to get on the PGA Tour, he now can’t seem to slow down.

Kizzire became the first multiple winner on the PGA Tour this season. He also won the OHL Classic in Mexico in a head-to-head battle with Rickie Fowler. The Sony Open was a four-man battle along the back nine, eventually whittled down to Kizzire and Hahn.

They played the par-5 18th hole four times and the 17th hole twice.

Kizzire nearly didn’t make it beyond the first extra hole when he hit a chip shot heavy and it didn’t clear the bunker. But he made par from 7 feet, and Hahn missed a 10-foot birdie putt. Kizzire had to make another putt from that length for birdie on the next hole to extend the playoff. Hahn missed a 6-footer for birdie for the win on the fifth extra hole.

Kizzire finally won when Hahn, who closed with an 8-under 62 to get into playoff, took three putts from off the 17th green for a bogey.

 

Here are the final round highlights from the PGA Tour.

 

[Associated Press]

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