Gary Woodland, who began the day trailing 54-hole leader Rickie Fowler by three strokes, closed with a 7-under 64 and then edged Chez Reavie with a par on the first sudden-death playoff hole to capture the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Woodland’s 64 was the low finish by a winner on the PGA Tour this season, supplanting Dustin Johnson’s 8-under 65 at Kapalua.
With that, let’s take a look at three players who impressed, and three who disappointed.
1. GARY WOODLAND
Gary Woodland started the day in 8th place, three strokes back of Rickie Fowler, and with the plethora of big names in the mix, the Kansas native knew he would have to go low on Sunday to come out in front.
Fortunately, with elite length and ranked 12th on Tour in birdie average, Woodland was among the best suited to make a run at Fowler and company. It didn’t take him long, as five front-nine birdies vaulted Woodland into prime position. He was not quite as pristine on the back nine, as bogeys on 11 and 14 suddenly put Reavie in best position, but after three consecutive birdies (15, 16, and 17), Woodland finished with a 7-under 64 and held a two-stroke lead in the clubhouse with two holes to go.
On the first extra hole, a phenomenal up-and-down from the bunker led to a Woodland par. When Reavie failed to make magic on the 18th green for the second consecutive time on 18, this time missing an 11-footer, Woodland officially etched his name in Phoenix golf lore.
2. CHEZ REAVIE
A valiant comeback from Chez Reavie fell short when a poor chip shot on the only playoff hole left him with a putt that he was unable to convert. Prior to that, however, it was a tremendous effort from the man who was attempting to win his first tournament in ten years.
Reavie put himself out front with an eagle on No. 5 en route to a 3-under 32 at the turn. A homeward nine of four birdies against one bogey saw the 36-year old Arizona State product sign for a 5-under 66.
“I was excited to make that putt on the 72nd hole and still have a chance to win and unfortunately it didn’t go my way this week, but who knows maybe next week will be my week,” said Reavie.
3. OLLIE SCHNIEDERJANS
With Ollie Schniederjans,it is not a matter of whether he will win a title, but when. That was almost today as the 24-year-old carded birdies on 12, 13, 14, and 15 put him in the mix, but a par, par, par finish was not quite enough.
In addition to a four-hole birdie streak on Sunday (Nos. 12-15), his weekend included three-hole birdie streaks in the third round on Nos. 2-4 and 15-17.
In his seven starts this season, Schniederjans has two top 10s (T3 WM Phoenix Open, T7 Sony), and three additional top 25s (T17 Safeway, T19 CJ Cup, T23 CIMB) to sit 27th in the FedExCup standings.
1. JON RAHM
For the second straight week, World No. 2 Jon Rahm had a difficult Sunday.
Playing in the final group, the local prodigy was unable to find a groove, showing a lot of outside frustration with a 1-over 72, his worst round of the week by five strokes.
Bogeys on 15 and 16 doomed his chances, although hitting just 8 of 18 fairways did not help either.
2. RICKIE FOWLER
Rickie Fowler held the lead after 54-holes, but a 2-over 74, where he was unable to make anything good happen down the stretch.
The 29-year old took himself out of the picture with a late spiral, bogeying three straight on hole Nos. 15-17. Fowler’s streak of 11 consecutive under-par rounds at the Waste Management Phoenix Open was snapped. His 74 was the worst round among the final top 25 on the leaderboard.
3. BILL HAAS
First-round leader Bill Haas had three birdies over his final six holes, but five bogeys and a double bogey meant a disappointing 3-over 74 and a T26 finish.
The 35-year-old, who was looking for his first victory since the 2015 season, just couldn’t string together any kind of consistency, posting two strong rounds (64 and 66 on Thursday and Saturday) against two poor rounds (72 and 74 on Frioday and Sunday).
Credits: PGA Tour Media, Getty Images