Kizzire clings on to edge out Fowler in Mexico

13 November 2017 04:24

Patton Kizzire survived a late charge by Rickie Fowler to clinch his breakthrough win on the PGA Tour with a one-shot victory at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

On a gruelling 36-hole final day at the weather-affected tournament, Kizzire led by four with six holes remaining only for three birdies from his opponent to ramp up the pressure heading down the last.

However, when the Alabama-born 31-year-old managed to get his second to within 30 feet of the flag after an awkward stance on the edge of a bunker it was Fowler who cracked, leaving his approach even further away to hand his rival a straightforward two-putt for the win.

Kizzire, who had previously had two runners-up finishes in 64 starts, posted a 67 for a 19-under total.

"I was glad to get it done, Rickie made me work hard," he said in his post-round interview.

Kizzire reached the turn in the final round with a three-shot lead and extended that when his wedge approach to the 11th left his ball hanging over the edge of the cup without dropping in for eagle.

However, Fowler whittled the lead down to one going down the last with three birdies in five holes but could have done better had he taken advantage of some wayward driving by his rival over the closing holes.

South Korea's Si Woo Kim finished third after a closing 65, which included a run of five successive birdies in his front nine, lifted him to 15 under.

That was one ahead of Charles Howell III, who posted back-to-back 66s on the final day, and Martin Piller, who also shot a 65.

Kizzire, who shared the 36-hole lead with Fowler and Patrick Rodgers, had birdied the 17th hole of his third round earlier in the day for a two-shot swing over Fowler - Rodgers blowing his chances with a 72 - to give him a one-stroke lead on 15 under after signing for a 66.

Source: PA