Sunday, March 10, 2013



By Joe Chemycz, Tour staff
SANTIAGO, Chile – Kevin Kisner fired a 4-under-par 68 Sunday to win the Chile Classic and earn his second career title on the Tour. 

Kisner, one of three 54-hole co-leaders, played the final five holes at the Prince of Wales Country Club one-over par but his 21-under 267 score was enough to edge out Brice Garnett (68) and Edward Loar (69) by one stroke for the trophy.
Guy Boros (65) and home-town favourite Benjamin Alvarado (71) tied for fourth at 18-under. Five others shared sixth place at minus-17 but the week-long birdie fest in Santiago belonged to Kisner, who figured he might be in the mix despite playing poorly in Panama and Colombia.
“I don’t know why I won because I played so bad the last two weeks and missed the cut,” he said. “It wasn’t terrible but my game wasn’t there and I wasn’t confident. This course just fit my eye really well. I knew when I played my first nine holes in the practice round that I’d have a chance here.”
An opening 71 put him well back in the pack but a course-record, 11-under 61 on Saturday vaulted him into a share of the lead with Alvarado and Loar. Sunday figured to be a shootout but Kisner inched his way to a three-shot lead early on the back nine.
“I was trying to get to 22-under all day. That was the number I had in my head,” he said after starting out at 17-under. “When I got there with the birdie at 13 and still had two par-5s I thought I was going to be good. It was a little shaky there coming in.”
Kisner hooked his tee shot into the trees at the par-5, 14th hole and his ball nestled into a nasty lie.
“That was the worst lie I saw all week. I could barely advance the ball,” he said. “It was an ugly six.”
Kisner wound up with a bogey-6 on the second-easiest hole of the week, which cut his lead to one.
“That made me start thinking a bit,” said Kisner, who picked up a check for $117,000. “It was a pretty ugly last four holes too. I didn’t really do anything and they weren’t that pretty but the guys in front of me didn’t do anything special to put any pressure on me.”
Loar had fallen three back with a bogey at No. 15 and closed to within one with birdies on his final two holes.
“I played pretty good and obviously those first two days it was lights out,” said Loar, who opened with back-t0-back 65s to lead by two at the halfway mark. “I’ll probably look back on a couple of putts and figure I had a chance to win but that’s why you have to play them all. Anytime you shoot 20-under par you can’t really complain.”
Garnett was 4 under and bogey-free through 14 and had the leader in his sights but he dumped his second shot into a bunker at the par-4 16th and failed to get up and down for par.
“There was the one shot that probably cost me,” he said.
Garnett rebounded with a birdie on 17 and faced the reachable, par 5 closer.
“I didn’t look at board until 18 tee. I knew there was going to be some stuff going on behind me with the crown and I didn’t want that to affect me,” he said. “I figured I had a pretty good chance, one down with one par-5 to play.”
Garnett went for the green in two but his four-iron from 215 bounced over the back of the green.
“It’s hard to pull one less there with water front right,” said. “I had a chance to make birdie but couldn’t get that last one up and down.”
Garnett’s par meant all Kisner had to do was play conservatively and make it a three-shot hole.
“I could have gone for it if I needed to but I saw Brice miss that putt,” said Kisner, who hit 7-iron for his second shot. “I was just hoping it was for birdie and I wasn’t making a mistake. I figured I could I make par from 80 yards.”
His wedge stopped 20 feet from the pin and all he needed was two putts.
“I was glad to see the first putt stop where it did,” he said. “One foot, I got that.”



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