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Woodland catches fire to win Phoenix Open for first victory since 2013

Omnisport
NEWS
67   //    05 Feb 2018, 05:20 IST
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Gary Woodland

Gary Woodland shot a seven-under 64 to charge up the leaderboard and win the Phoenix Open – his first victory since 2013 – on Sunday.

Woodland walked into the clubhouse with a two-shot lead, but Chez Reavie birdied 17 and 18 to force a play-off, the PGA Tour's fourth consecutive. 

Woodland started his final round with a bogey-free five-under 30, but ran into a snag early on  the back nine with two bogeys. The American quickly rebounded with three birdies on his last four holes to force Reavie to rally.

Despite Reavie's clutch birdie putt on 18, he was unable to translate that success into the play-off, losing on the first hole with a bogey.

Ollie Schniederjans and Brendan Steele cruised up the leaderboard to finish tied for third at 15 under. Schniederjans started his back nine with five birdies in six holes to shoot a six-under 65.

"Just really coming after it, trying to get that first win," Schniederjans said after his final round. "So it was really a positive week, really needed to putt better to probably win. I made a nice charge there at the last nine holes and bogey-free on Sunday is very, very good."

Phil Mickelson endured a rollercoaster final round to finish in a tie for fifth at 14 under with Chesson Hadley, Bryson DeChambeau and Matt Kuchar. Mickelson birdied holes 15-17 late to get back into contention, but he double-bogeyed the 18th after a poor drive.

"I just didn't get it going early and I don't know what to say," Mickelson said after his final round. "It was fun to be in contention, I had a great time coming down the stretch. I didn't like, obviously, the last hole, but other than that it was a pretty solid week and that was the only over par score. I hate finishing like that, but it's fun to be in contention here, it's fun to come down the stretch here."

Hadley, a Web.com Tour graduate, continued his scintillating season with his fourth top-five finish. Hadley shot a three-under 68 on Sunday.

Rickie Fowler entered the final round with a one-shot lead, but he never found a rhythm. He bogeyed three of his last four holes to drop into a tie for 11th at 12 under. Jon Rahm and Daniel Berger also finished at 12 under.

"It was very frustrating," Rahm said. "I think it's just overall feeling of the week. It's just I've been feeling good, hitting good shots. I just wouldn't say it was my most fortunate week and we all know you need some fortune to win a tournament.

"I was putting good, I was feeling good, I was just waiting for that moment and it just never happened."

Justin Thomas shot a five-under 66 in round four to finish in a tie for 17th at 11 under.

Omnisport
NEWS
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