Woodland wins on first playoff holeField Level Media
February 04. 2018 11:45PM
Gary Woodland parred the first playoff hole against Chez Reavie to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday.
Woodland shot a 7-under-par 64 in the final round to take the clubhouse lead at 18-under 266 three holes ahead of the final group. He held a two-shot lead after Reavie bogeyed No. 16, but Reavie rallied to close with a pair of birdies, forcing a playoff with a 21-foot putt on the 18th hole.
The two returned to the tee on No. 18, with Woodland driving it into the bunker. Reavie was unable to take advantage of the opportunity, missing the green from the fairway and missing his 10-foot par putt. That left Woodland to tap in for his third PGA Tour victory.
“I put a lot of work in this offseason,” Woodland told CBS after the winning putt. “Play aggressive off the tee, play aggressive with the irons, and attack from there.
“We’re just building, we’re going to keep growing, keep getting better, I still got some work to do. I still got to get more comfortable with the little things we’re working on. But I’m excited about where we’re at.”
It marked the fourth consecutive tournament won in a playoff on the PGA Tour this season, following the Sony Open, CareerBuilder Challenge and the Farmers Insurance Open the previous three weeks.
It was the 16th playoff in tournament history, with Hideki Matsuyama successfully defending his title in 2017 with a playoff victory over Webb Simpson.
Woodland shot up the leaderboard Sunday with five birdies to make the turn in 30 shots.
He then traded the lead with Reavie for much of the back nine as overnight leader Rickie Fowler and playing partner Jon Rahm of Spain fell off.
Ollie Schniederjans shot a 6-under 65 on Sunday to climb 15 spots and finish in a tie for third with Brendan Steele at 269. Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Chesson Hadley and Bryson DeChambeau tied for fifth another shot off the pace.
Mickelson birdie three consecutive holes to reach the par-5 18th hole two shots behind Woodland, who had completed his round and headed for the practice range in preparation for a potential playoff. Mickelson missed the fairway and needed help from the gallery just to find his ball. He chopped out and wound up with a double bogey to close with a 2-under 69.
It was a much rougher day for Fowler and Rahm, who remained in contention before falling apart down the stretch. Fowler, who was the 54-hole leader at 14 under, bogeyed three consecutive holes from Nos. 15-17 to fall out of contention.
Rahm, who was trying to further close the gap between himself and top-ranked Dustin Johnson, bogeyed No. 12 and then dropped two more shots on Nos. 15 and 16. He birdied No. 17 to get back to 12 under, finishing in a tie for 11th with Fowler and four others at 272.
Woodland’s 64 was the lowest round Sunday, followed by Schniederjans’ 65, Reavie’s 66 and Justin Thomas’ 66.
The second-place finish was the best of the season for Reavie, who finished 18th at the Sony Open in Hawaii and 52nd at the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta, Calif. He will now head to Pebble Beach, Calif., for next week’s AT&T Pro-Am.
Reavie is a local Scottsdale resident who played for Arizona State in college.
“I played great all week,” Reavie said. “I hit the ball really well, I made a lot of putts. I’m hitting the ball where I’m looking and hitting a lot of great putts, and I’m really excited about what’s coming.”
Woodland spoke to CBS while holding young Jaxson, who was born last June, three months after he and his wife lost one of their unborn twins due to complications during the pregnancy.
“He’s a miracle and it puts this in perspective really good,” Woodland said. “It’s obviously been a long year for us, but I’m very happy to be holding him and to be where I’m at right now.”