Monday, January 15, 2018

Patton Kizzire wins Sony Open play-off at sixth extra hole, Russell Knox (T10) earns $148,800

By Rex Hoggard
HONOLULU – No matter how talented or determined a player may be, winning is an acquired skill.

Even Tiger Woods needed a few starts (four, actually) after turning pro before he figured out how to win on the US PGA Tour. Perhaps a better example would be David Duval, who had played 86 events before he finally broke through at the 1997 Michelob Championship. He would go on to win 13 times, including a major, and ascend to No. 1 in the world.

So when Patton Kizzire, pictured above with the Sony Open trophy,  broke through after 58 starts in the Big Leagues late last year at the OHL Classic there was always the notion that after two years on Tour as a solid if not somewhat overlooked player he could be poised for something special.

It took him just two more starts to add to his collection, outlasting James Hahn on Sunday at the Sony Open to win at the sixth extra hole - the longest play-off in tournament history - and end a surreal week that included an erroneous missile threat on Saturday.

Kizzire needed a scrambling par at the final overtime stop, the par-3 17th hole, which seemed about right. In what the champion called a “peculiar week,” it was only apropos that they would need extra frames to crown a winner.

“Today was a battle. I didn't have my best stuff. It was a wild week. It was a wild day,” Kizzire said in his signature southern drawl that didn’t exactly fit in with the hectic final moments.

Kizzire, who became the season’s first two-time winner, could have won the event outright with a 17-footer for birdie at the 72nd hole. He didn’t. He would also miss birdie attempts from 18 feet (75th hole) and 24 feet (77th hole) that would have sealed the victory, before he finally rolled in the game winner.

Hahn had his own list of potential walk-offs he could lament.

Hahn, whose previous two victories both came in play-offs, also failed to convert an 18-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole, an 11-footer at the first playoff hole, a 17-footer at the third and a 9-footer at the ninth. Ultimately, it was a missed 9-footer for par at the sixth play-off hole that sealed his fate and promised to make the next few days an experiment in revisionist history.

“I played good enough to win, but I didn't,” said Hahn, who started the day six strokes off the lead held by Tom Hoge but shot a week’s-best 62 to finish at 17 under and force overtime. “If I'm not coming out of the room with the trophy, it really feels like I was defeated out there. I mean, I had a putt to win it. I'm going to be playing that over and over and over again.”

For players like Hahn, and Kizzire, the pain of losing almost always outweighs the joy of winning. It’s the nature of the game.

“I'd rather lose by 100 than lose by one [stroke]. I'd rather miss the cut than lose in a playoff. It just doesn't sit well with me,” Hahn reasoned.

For Kizzire, however, winning took some time. It always has.

On the Tour in 2015, he endured a pair of runner-up finishes before he finally broke through, in a play-off no less, 20 starts into his career on the secondary circuit.

Although he didn’t need extra holes, Kizzire’s victory in Mexico was just as stressful as his triumph in Hawaii. He took a one-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler into the final round and matched him stroke-for-stroke to win by the same margin.

“That was big for me to come out on top and to know that I can do it and to see myself do it,” said Kizzire, whose closing 68 included nine consecutive pars to begin his day and a hole-out for eagle at the par-4 10th hole to move into the lead. “I used that experience today.”

The flashbacks likely began at the 17th hole in regulation when Kizzire’s tee shot sailed left and he needed to convert from 5 feet to maintain a share of the lead.

There were plenty of moments throughout a hectic day when Kizzire could have succumbed to the pressure, and for all the putts he missed there were just as many crucial attempts he made to keep the playoff going as sunset approached.

For Kizzire, 31, learning how to win was almost as simple as learning that on days like Sunday at Waialae Country Club you don’t always need your best stuff.

“He’d won at every level. He’s just one of those guys who wants to win,” said Todd Anderson, Kizzire’s swing coach. “You can tell the guys who aren’t afraid to say they want it and that’s him.”

And now he wants more after learning, through trial and plenty of error, what it takes to beat the world’s best, even if that means enduring a marathon final round.

Russell Knox from Inverness finished a disappointing T10 on 267 after bogeying the 15th and 16th in a final-round 69. He broke the par of 70 in all four rounds with birdies at the seventh, eighth and 12th on Sunday looking like setting him up for a top five finish ... until the late brace of bogeys
The Scot earned $148,800.

players from USA unless stated otherwise
par 280 (4x70)
263 Patton Kizzire 67 64 64 68, James Hahn 67 69 65 62 (Kizzire won play-off at sixth extra hole).
265 Webb Simpson 67 76 63 65. Brian Stuard 67 66 67 65, Brian Harman 64 63 68 70.

267 Russell Knox (Scotland) 69 64 65 69 (T10)



 Here's a look at how the purse was paid out at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.
P1Patton Kizzire-17$1,116,000
P2James Hahn-17$669,600
3Tom Hoge-16$421,600
T4Brian Harman-15$256,267
T4Webb Simpson-15$256,267
T4Brian Stuard-15$256,267
T7Ben Martin-14$193,233
T7Ollie Schniederjans-14$193,233
T7Gary Woodland-14$193,233
T10Ryan Blaum-13$148,800
T10Chris Kirk-13$148,800
T10Russell Knox-13$148,800
T10Kyle Stanley-13$148,800
T14Daniel Berger-12$108,500
T14Zach Johnson-12$108,500
T14Jerry Kelly-12$108,500
T14Justin Thomas-12$108,500
T18Austin Cook-11$75,463
T18Jason Dufner-11$75,463
T18Talor Gooch-11$75,463
T18Daisuke Kataoka-11$75,463
T18Chez Reavie-11$75,463
T18Cameron Smith-11$75,463
T18Jordan Spieth-11$75,463
T25Jonathan Byrd-10$46,323
T25Brandon Harkins-10$46,323
T25Kevin Kisner-10$46,323
T25Keith Mitchell-10$46,323
T25Scott Piercy-10$46,323
T25Sam Saunders-10$46,323
T25Xinjun Zhang-10$46,323
T32Wesley Bryan-9$33,569
T32Stewart Cink-9$33,569
T32Tony Finau-9$33,569
T32Charles Howell III-9$33,569
T32Nicholas Lindheim-9$33,569
T32Rory Sabbatini-9$33,569
T32Xander Schauffele-9$33,569
T39Ryan Armour-8$23,560
T39Dominic Bozzelli-8$23,560
T39Keegan Bradley-8$23,560
T39Corey Conners-8$23,560
T39Matt Jones-8$23,560
T39Nate Lashley-8$23,560
T39Jonathan Randolph-8$23,560
T39Adam Schenk-8$23,560
T47Roberto Diaz-7$15,925
T47Emiliano Grillo-7$15,925
T47Jason Kokrak-7$15,925
T47Marc Leishman-7$15,925
T47John Peterson-7$15,925
T47Conrad Shindler-7$15,925
T47J.J. Spaun-7$15,925
T54Shugo Imahira-6$14,198
T54Stephan Jaeger-6$14,198
T54Seamus Power-6$14,198
T54Hudson Swafford-6$14,198
T58Brian Gay-5$13,578
T58Lanto Griffin-5$13,578
T58Si Woo Kim-5$13,578
T58Ryan Palmer-5$13,578
T58Sam Ryder-5$13,578
T58Tyrone Van Aswegen-5$13,578
64Harris English-4$13,144
T65Scott Brown-3$12,958
T65William McGirt-3$12,958
T67Blayne Barber-2$12,710
T67John Oda-2$12,710
T69Steve Allan-1$12,338
T69Colt Knost-1$12,338
T69Andrew Putnam-1$12,338
T69Kevin Tway-1$12,338
T73Joel DahmenE$11,966
T73D.A. PointsE$11,966
75Matt Every1$11,780
76Vaughn Taylor2$11,656



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