Webb Simpson capatilises on stunning finish with birdie on first play-off hole to beat out Tony Finau to the Waste Management Phoenix Open title
Tony Finau looked all set to end a spell of nearly four years without a win, but it was Webb Simpson who snatched the title with a birdie on the first play-off hole at TPC Scottsdale.
Simpson, who lost out in a play-off here to Hideki Matsuyama in 2017, carded back-to-back birdies on the final two holes for a final round 69 to tie Tony Finau on 17-under-par, who missed a final-hole birdie putt for victory.
The pair headed back to the 18th hole, and despite Finau finding the bunker with his tee shot, both players set themselves up with similar birdie chances to what they had had on the 72nd hole.
Going first this time, Finau's chance once again rolled by, and Simpson made the most of his opportunity as he rolled in his 12-foot birdie putt for the sixth PGA Tour victory of his career.
"Honestly, there on 15 when I drove it in the water, Tony hit a great drive. I didn't think it was over, but I thought I'm going to really have to do something special to get back in it," said Simpson, whose win moves him back inside the World's top 10.
"And thankfully I birdied the last two to have a chance and then repeated in the playoff. So it feels great. It's been a year and a half since THE PLAYERS, which is a long time, but it feels great."
Simpson, who made his first hole in one on the PGA Tour on Saturday, started the day a shot behind overnight leader Finau, but found himself tied for the lead after rolling in a birdie putt from six feet at the fifth.
It was a short-lived initial spell at the top though, as Simpson slipped back after missing the green and dropping his first shot of the day a hole later.
Finau then three-putted for bogey at the eighth to pull the pair back level, and it was Simpson who took the outright lead when he converted a brilliant approach to just four feet at the 10th.
From there Finau began to take control, rolling in a lengthy birdie at the 12th and adding a second in a row at 13 before Simpson dropped to two behind after hitting his tee shot in to the water at the 15th.
At that point it seemed likely Finau would earn his first victory since 2016, but Simpson had other ideas: He drove the green at the par-four 17th to make a straight-forward two-putt birdie, and piled the pressure on Finau with a birdie from 17-feet at the last to set the target on 17-under. With less than 10 feet to the hole Finau had a chance to win but he couldn't get his putt to drop, forcing the tournament to an extra hole, which Simpson went on to birdie for victory.
Justin Thomas produced the round of the day, a six-under 65, to finish in a tie for third on 14-under with Bubba Watson and Nate Lashley. A shot further back on 13-under were Max Homa and Scott Piercy, with Adam Long in seventh on -12.
Jon Rahm had a chance to overtake Brooks Koepka as World No.1 if he were to win in Arizona, but he couldn't do better than a final round 72 to finish in a tie for ninth sixth others on 11-under.