Patton Kizzire and Brian Harman carded a back-nine 29 on their way to winning the QBE Shootout by one shot
A late eagle from Patton Kizzire helped him and playing partner Brian Harman to victory on Sunday, pushing them one shot clear of Graeme McDowell and Emiliano Grillo, who were then unable to answer with a birdie on the last.
It was an impressive performance from Kizzire and Harman, who combined for a better-ball 61 during the final day of the QBE Shootout - which included nine birdies and an eagle over Tiburón Golf Club.
"We knew we needed at least birdie and eagle was a bonus," Kizzire said. "He had a great iron shot in there close and freed me up, and I hit a good one, too. We both had looks at it. I putted first and made it. That was huge."
The team had held a share of the 36-hole lead, and made quick moves with three birdies in their first five holes. A run of pars from the fifth stalled their momentum for a short time, but a birdie on the ninth started a trio of gains that led to a back-nine 29. At one point, they were part of a four-way tie at the top that included McDowell/Grillo, Bubba Watson and Harold Varner III, and Luke List and Charles Howell III.
"We had a little bit of a rough patch there, kind of seven, eight, nine," Harman said, "but we both sort of said, we've got to weather the storm and keep it going and I was really proud we hung in there, and we caught fire on the back nine. It was fun."
But it was a partnership that almost wasn't. Harman wasn't even originally supposed to be in the event hosted by Greg Norman, having been drafted in by Kizzire as a late replacement for Davis Love III, who pulled out to be with his ailing mother.
It was a call that evidentally worked, but also one that made a lot of sense. Kizzire and Harman have known each other since they were 12 and both live close to one another other in Georgia, spending time together fishing or golfing. There's also a playful personal rivalry there most of the time, but they put that aside for this week.
“We're normally trying to get into each other's heads,” Kizzire said after their final-round better ball 61 at Tiburón Golf Club. “And this week he was nice to me, which was kind of weird.”
Harman added: “I was hoping I wasn’t going to throw him for a loop.”
McDowell's runner up finish was his second in a row, having tied for 2nd place in last year's contest with Shane Lowry.
Behind them was a three-way tie for 3rd place on 28-under-par, consisting of List/Howell III, Kevin Na/ Bryson DeChambeau and Gary Woodland/ Charley Hoffman.
Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, who finished fourth last year, ended up in seventh splace in the 12-team field after posting a 7-under final round of 65.