Kisner birdies to win playoff and capture PGA season finale

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Kevin Kisner of the United States celebrates
  • Post published:August 16, 2021

American Kevin Kisner, winless in five prior US PGA playoffs, birdied the second extra hole on Sunday to win a record-tying six-man playoff and capture the Wyndham Championship.

Kisner collected his fourth career PGA victory, his first since the 2019 WGC Match Play and first stroke-play triumph since 2017 at Colonial.

World number 52 Kisner birdied four of the first six holes and added birdies at 16 and 17 to shoot four-under 66 in the final round to make the playoff, in which everyone parred the 18th to start, setting the stage for Kisner’s winning birdie.

South Korea’s Kim Si-Woo, Australian Adam Scott, Canada’s Roger Sloan, South African Branden Grace and Americans Kisner and Kevin Na finished 72 holes deadlocked on 15-under par 265 at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Woo fired a bogey-free six-under 64 while Scott shot 65 and the others closed with 66s to match the biggest playoff field in US PGA history from 2001 at Riviera and the 1994 Byron Nelson tournament.

Kisner’s playoff futility began at the 2015 Heritage and included extra-hole defeats at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic and Players Championship, the 2017 Zurich Classic and last year’s RSM Classic.

Kim, the 2016 Greensboro winner who began the round sharing 15th, missed out on a fourth US PGA title while Na sought his sixth tour victory and Sloan his first.

Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, was chasing his 15th US PGA crown and first since last year at Riviera while Grace, a nine-time European Tour winner, won his second US PGA title in February’s Puerto Rico Open.

Missing the playoff by one stroke were Americans Webb Simpson, Kevin Streelman and Russell Henley, who led after each of the first three rounds.

Henley, who shared the lead after the first three rounds in June’s US Open only to finish level 13th, made bogeys on four of the last eight holes. He missed a 25-foot birdie putt on 18 to win and a four-foot par putt to miss the playoff, ending hopes of his first victory since the 2017 Houston Open.

“Two three-putts on the back nine got me,” Henley said. “I hit both those putts on 18 how I wanted. I hit the second putt right where I was looking and it broke… just disappointed. It stings pretty bad.”

Rose misses playoffs

The tournament was the final event of the 2020-21 regular season with the top 125 players in points securing tour rights for 2021-22 and advancing to next week’s first FedEx Cup playoff event.

Sloan and Americans Scott Piercy and Chesson Hadley all jumped into the final top 125 based on this week’s results.

England’s Justin Rose, the 2016 Olympic champion and 2013 US Open winner who is fully exempt for next season, finished 126th in points.

Rose closed with a bogey and lost out to Hadley on a FedEx Cup spot when Grace, in the final group, birdied the 18th hole from just outside 28 feet to make the playoff.

“It’s not nice when it’s not in your hands, but obviously it was in my hands up 18. I didn’t do a very good job of that,” Rose said. “Couldn’t be a worse result really on the day.”

© Agence France-Presse

Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images