Kizzire outduels Hahn on sixth playoff hole, wins Sony Open

Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

Kizzire outduels Hahn on sixth playoff hole, wins Sony Open

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Kizzire outduels Hahn on sixth playoff hole, wins Sony Open

Things got weird this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Something outlandish or frightening happened every day, and it all concluded in the longest PGA Tour playoff since 2012.

Patton Kizzire finally closed the curtains on this circus by defeating James Hahn in a six-hole playoff, capturing his second career victory with a par at No. 17 after Hahn’s par attempt rolled off the edge of the cup.

Kizzire, 31, also won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November. The imposing Auburn grad shot 17-under 263 for the week at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu after beginning the final round one shot back of leader Tom Hoge. Kizzire closed with a 2-under 68 while Hoge, who has never won on Tour, shot even-par 70 and missed a 9-foot birdie putt at No. 18 that would have put him in the playoff.

Let’s recap a tournament that began with a few innocent statistical quirks and rapidly escalated in ludicrousness.

Jordan Spieth shot 1-under par 69 with a quadruple bogey on the card in Round 1. He also made a 91-foot putt in Round 2, the longest make of his career by nearly 40 feet. Spieth finished T-18 at 11 under, and Justin Thomas was T-14 at 12 under.

On Friday night, Blayne Barber’s caddie Cory Gilmer was hospitalized after he fell and hit his head on the floor at a restaurant. He was still unconscious and in critical condition as of Saturday night.

Players woke up Saturday morning to emergency alerts on their phones, advising them to seek shelter immediately due to a ballistic missile inbound to Hawaii. Several players took cover, while Justin Thomas just sort of went with it.

“I actually never got (the alert) for some reason,” Thomas said. “I don’t know why, but it never went through to my phone. Tom Lovelady screen-shot it and sent it to me and asked what was going on. I was like, there’s nothing I can do. I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it’s my time, it’s my time.”

The false alarm was sent out because an employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency pushed the wrong button during what was supposed to be a test. Seriously.

After players had pondered impending mortality off the Pacific Ocean, they returned Sunday to a golf course devoid of critical Golf Channel workers because the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees went on strike over ongoing negotiations with the union that represents live tournament technicians.

Given the absence of camera operators, the resulting final-round broadcast featured a hodge-podge of overhead blimp shots, shaky on-course footage, unusual camera angles and a newfound appreciation for the people who make these broadcasts sing each week.

Naturally, the remaining Golf Channel employees who scrambled to fill a variety of roles had to cover the longest playoff in Sony Open history.

Kizzire and Hahn traded pars on the first playoff hole, birdies on the second, pars on the par-3 17th for the third playoff hole, birdies again at the par-5 18th, then pars again at 18 before Kizzire ended it at No. 17.

Hahn had to shoot the low round of the tournament to make the playoff and waited more than an hour for the final group to finish following an 8-under 62. Brian Harman held a three-shot lead through 54 holes but fell off pace and carded an even-par 70 Sunday to finish T-4 at 15 under.

The Sony Open’s previous-long playoff came in 1997, when Paul Stankowski outlasted Jim Furyk and Mike Reid over four holes.

A lot has happened since then. Gwk

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