Patton Kizzire holds off Rickie Fowler for 1st PGA Tour win at OHL Classic

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Patton Kizzire holds off Rickie Fowler for 1st PGA Tour win at OHL Classic

PGA Tour

Patton Kizzire holds off Rickie Fowler for 1st PGA Tour win at OHL Classic

Here is a recap of the final round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico:

WINNER: Patton Kizzire had a long day Sunday, but it was worth it all in the end as he garnered his first PGA Tour title.

The 31-year-old had to play 36 holes on the last day due to weather delays the previous two, but he held his nerve throughout. The 36-hole co-leader entering the day, Kizzire fired a 66 to take the 54-hole lead by one and then closed the afternoon with a bogey-free 67 to pull out a one-shot victory at 19 under.

And that wasn’t all. Rickie Fowler, a fellow 36-hole co-leader, was three down to Kizzire with three to play but birdied 16 and 17 to move within one and put the pressure on. It seemed a playoff might be imminent when Kizzire pulled his drive at 18 and had to hit from a compressed stance in the rough with a bunker just feet to the left of his ball. But he hit a gorgeous shot to roughly 20 feet. Fowler, from the fairway, could only knock his some 25 feet away and then left the birdie try short. Kizzire lagged to inches and would tap in for par and the victory.

Kizzire entered the event coming off consecutive top-10 showings (including a T-4 last week in Las Vegas) but had not won on the PGA Tour in 62 previous starts. He owned a pair of runner-up finishes but no hardware.

He showed the resolve of a champion Sunday. On the final 18, Kizzire rolled in a testy par putt at the first. He would proceed to birdie Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 11, but the par putts would continue to be crucial.

He made another at the 12th and scored his most important at 13. His lead was four over Fowler, but Kizzire pulled his tee shot into a hazard. He would end up with a 10-footer for par at the par 5 with Fowler tapping in for birdie. Kizzire buried his par effort to avoid a two-shot swing. That extra stroke proved crucial when Fowler made up two on 16 and 17 but still trailed coming to the last.

With this win, Kizzire earns a 2018 Masters berth. He also proved to everyone Sunday just how tough he is.

JUST MISSED: Fowler did little wrong on Sunday (a pair of 67s) but still came up short. This was his season opener and his first appearance at this event and he produces a solo second at 18 under. Si Woo Kim closes in 65 to finish solo third at 15 under. Charles Howell III (final-round 66) and Martin Piller (65) tie for fourth at 14 under.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Kizzire made this clinching shot (especially under this pressure) look so much easier than it actually was.

QUOTABLE: “It was pretty nerve-wracking (down the stretch), but I felt good. I’ve been in tough spots before and I drew from all my experiences. It means a lot. I’m pretty excited right now, pretty emotional and I was glad to get it done. Rickie made me work hard.” – Kizzire, after his win

SHORT SHOTS: John Oda, playing his PGA Tour debut as a pro, finishes in solo eighth at 12 under. That top-10 finish earns him a spot into next week’s field at the RSM Classic. Oda will compete next month in the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School to try to earn his Web.com Tour card. … Russell Knox, who has had some high finishes at this event, places T-9 at 11 under. The Scot lost in a playoff here in 2015. … Bryson DeChambeau closes in 66 to jump 15 spots to a tie for 14th at 10 under. … Zach Johnson fires a final-round 64 to rocket 37 spots to a tie for 23rd at 8 under. … John Huh, the 2012 champion, ties for 25th at 7 under. … Graeme McDowell, the 2015 champion, ties for 34th at 6 under. … Defending champion Pat Perez also finishes at 6 under thanks to a closing 66. … Beau Hossler also posts at 6 under but dropped there after closing in 72.

UP NEXT: The Tour will head back to the United States for the RSM Classic, played in Sea Island, Ga. Follow all the action on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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