Gary Woodland wins the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a playoff for his first PGA Tour title since 2013
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The PGA Tour's sudden-death-playoff streak continued on Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but this one didn't spill over to Monday, or even into a second hole. Gary Woodland's par on the 18th at TPC Scottsdale was good enough to defeat Chez Reavie, who holed a 21-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole to join Woodland at 18-under 266.
For Woodland, it's his third career PGA Tour title, and his first since 2013. It comes less than a year after he and his wife Gabby experienced tragedy when one of their twins was lost in a miscarriage. An emotional Woodland couldn't help but smile as he held Jaxson Lynn, who survived the pregnancy, after holing the final putt.
"He's a miracle, puts this in perspective really good," said the 33-year-old. "It was obviously a long year for us, but, I'm very happy, one to be holding him and to be where I'm at right now."
Woodland fired the low round of the day, a seven-under 64 that included birdies on three of his last four holes and a five-under 30 on his opening nine. It's his first victory since the 2013 Barracuda Championship, although he's given himself opportunities since, finishing runner-up seven times, including twice last season.
"I put a lot of work in this off-season. I mean, obviously, I knew what's been going on the last couple years, short game needed some adjustment. I spent some time with Pete Cowen. He really got me to where I have confidence in my short game. That allowed me to be more aggressive and let Butch and I do what we do and play aggressive off the tee, play aggressive with the irons and attack from there. It's been a good day."
Woodland, who made a field-leading 26 birdies thanks to that aggressive nature, hopes there's more where this came from.
"We're just building, we're going to keep growing, keep getting better. I still got some work to do, I still got to get more comfortable with the little things that I'm working on, but I'm excited about where were at."
Reavie's final-round five-under 66 ultimately wasn't enough, but the Arizona State alum is still pleased with the state of his game.
"I played great all week, hit the ball really well and made a lot of putts. Unfortunately, I made a bogey on the playoff hole, but I didn't make many bogeys this week," he said.
The runner-up finish is the best of Reavie's career at TPC Scottsdale.
If not for Woodland, the round of the day would have belonged to Ollie Schniederjans, who carded a bogey-free six-under 65 to finish in a tie for third at 15-under 269. The former No. 1 ranked amateur in the world has now registered seven top-10s in just 49 starts on the PGA Tour. He was joined at 15 under by Brendan Steele, who shot a four-under 67. It's the fourth time Steele has finished inside the top six at the Waste Management.
Four players tied for fifth at 14-under 270, including Phil Mickelson, who nearly mounted a late charge with three straight birdies at the 15th, 16th and 17th holes. It would have taken a miracle at the par-4 18th to earn a spot in the playoff, and the five-time major champion didn't get one, finishing with a double-bogey 6 to shoot a two-under 69. It's his second top five finish of the season, the first coming in October at the Safeway Open (T-3).
Also at 14 under were Chesson Hadley (68), Matt Kuchar (67) and Bryson DeChambeau (70).
Unfortunately for Rickie Fowler, he leaves the desert empty-handed once again after struggling on Sunday and posting a two-over 73 to finish at 12-under 272. Fowler held the lead entering Sunday, the sixth time he's had the 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event. But only once has he been able to close out the win.