Topeka native Gary Woodland beats Chez Reavie in Phoenix Open playoff

Topeka native Gary Woodland beats Chez Reavie in Phoenix Open playoff

Topeka native Gary Woodland beats Chez Reavie in Phoenix Open playoff

Said Brennan Little, Woodland's caddie: "His demeanor has been better". "It puts it in perspective". Strokes gained (statistic) has been really good this year, but I feel like I can make a lot of putts and I haven't felt that way in a long time. He had just withdrawn from the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, and in the statement he added that "doctors will be monitoring the health of my wife and the other baby for the remainder of the pregnancy". Woodland withdrew from the event immediately.

"Just couldn't buy a putt", Fowler said.

Now 10th in driving distance this season (313.9 yards), Woodland has always been one of the PGA TOUR's heavier hitters, but pal Matt Kuchar noticed he had taken it to another level when the two played a nine-hole practice round together the Tuesday before the WMPO.

Woodland shot up the leaderboard Sunday with five birdies to make the turn in 30 shots. "Couldn't wait for 2017 to be over with". He was 16th in strokes gained: putting (+.846) at TPC Scottsdale, and he is eighth in that statistical category (+1.090) on the season.

He credits the improved short game to recent work with Pete Cowen and Brad Faxon. "I had to deal with some stuff of the course previous year but I have felt really comfortable with my game this week".

Fan favourite Rickie Fowler held the 54-hole lead on Saturday night but was overtaken by a host of players including eventual victor Gary Woodland on Sunday. But, needing an eagle on 18 to tie Woodland, he drove left into the church pew bunker that Woodland hit into in the playoff and made double bogey.


Eighteen players are bunched within three shots of the leaders, including Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm, who are both on seven-under. So my wife kind of surprised me with him on the last hole.

Reavie bogeyed the 16th to slip two behind but nearly pitched in on his way to birdieing the next and then drained a 20-foot gain at the last to take the contest to extra holes.

It had been almost 10 years since Reavie's first and only win to date on the PGA Tour when successful at the 2008 Canadian Open but when he birdied his final two holes including one from 25 feet at the last he had joined Woodland at 18 under par and the door was open for win number two. The fans in Arizona adore Mickelson, and he adores them straight back, but he was unable to give them the grandstand finish they had all come to see.

"Gary was that guy that was due (for a win)", said Matt Kuchar, who played nine holes of practice with Woodland on Tuesday. “Ive played well the last five years, I think I had six second-place finishes.

That is certainly the goal. Woodland had not won a PGA Tour event since 2013, and he was happy to get back into the winner's circle.

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