Patton Kizzire held off a late charge from Rickie Fowler to win his first PGA Tour title at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba
Kizzire, who has moved up over 100 places in the World Rankings with his victory (from 236 to 119), posted a bogey-free 67 during the windy conditions at Playa del Carmen - with much credit due to his impressive performance on the greens.
The final group of Kizzire, Fowler and Patrick Rodgers had to play 36 holes on Sunday thanks to lengthy delays during the event, and it was a gutsy outing from the 31-year-old first time winner, who got up and down four times to save par during his final round.
"It was nerve-racking but I felt good," Kizzire said. "I've been in tough experiences before and I drew from that. I'm pretty excited and was glad to get it done. Rickie made me work hard."
“I'm kind of a never-give-up guy. I've really tried to stay the course and believe in myself. It seemed a long way at the point when I was on the Hooters Tour, but now it's just part of the whole process.”
By the start of the fourth round, Kizzire held a one-shot advantage over Fowler, who had lead for the majority of their morning third round before an untimely bogey on the 17th hole and birdie from Kizzire put him one behind.
Kizzire looked incredibly calm as he rolled in birdie putts on the 2nd, 4th and 5th holes to move four shots clear as Fowler cancelled out two birdies with two blemishes. The World No.7 pulled one back on the 6th to get the defecit back to three shots, and both men parred their way in to the turn.
The first move came from the tournament leader, making birdie on the 11th hole - though it would be his last of the day. Meanwhile, Fowler was left to rue several missed chances on the greens, as despite rolling it in for birdie on 13, 15 and 17 to reduce the gap to one, he left his final birdie attempt short - leaving Kizzire two putts for the win.
"He earned it out there," Fowler said of his playing partner. "He played well all day today, 36 holes. Putted really well and made a lot of good putts for birdie and to save some pars, and I know he was thanking his putter there on the 18th green."
With his victory, Kizzire finished at 19-under par, and earned his first trip to the Masters in April.
WITB: Patton Kizzire
Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees)
3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees)
Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees)
Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4 iron), Titleist 718 CB (5, 6 iron), Titleist 718 MB (7-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey TVD prototype (52, 56 and 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour