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Woodland downs Reavie in playoff to seize Phoenix crown

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by February 6, 2018 Sport News

Los Angeles (AFP) – Gary Woodland birdied three of the last four holes of regulation then beat Chez Reavie with a par at the first playoff hole on Sunday to win the US PGA Tour Phoenix Open.

Woodland had nine birdies in his seven-under par 64 at TPC Scottsdale and was in the clubhouse with the lead on 18-under par 266.

But Reavie closed with back-to-back birdies to force sudden death. [restrict]

They returned to the par-four 18th where Woodland was in a fairway bunker and Reavie in the fairway off the tee.

Reavie’s second shot missed the green, and his chip left him a tough putt for par while Woodland blasted out of the bunker to the edge of the green and putted to within two feet.

Reavie, who drained a 21-footer at 18 in regulation to force the playoff, missed his par-saving attempt.

That left Woodland to tap in for his third US PGA Tour title, and his first since 2013.

“It’s been a long five years, but it’s been coming,” Woodland said. “I made some putts early, gave me some confidence and really hit the ball well coming down the stretch.”

Woodland, 33, started the day three shots behind 54-hole leader Rickie Fowler.

He raced up the leaderboard with five birdies on the front nine.

He sandwiched a birdie at 13 between to bogeys, but birdied 15, 16 and 17 to seize the lead.

After holing his last putt, Woodland collected his baby son, Jaxson, from his wife, Gabby.

The couple had been expecting twins but lost one of the children in a tough 2017 for the family.

“I’m really happy — one to be holding him and also to be where I’m at,” Woodland said. “He’s a miracle, and I’m just happy to be here right now.”

Brendan Steele and Ollie Schniederjans shared third place on 269. Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson, an Arizona fan favorite, carded a 69 to head a group of four on 270.

World number seven Fowler faded with a 73 to finish with a share of 11th in a group that also included world number two Jon Rahm of Spain. [/restrict]

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