Blixt/Smith win Zurich Classic on fourth sudden death hole
- Author: Julie Sanders May 11, 2017,
May 11, 2017, 15:34
Australian Smith made a clutch birdie putt to settle it on what was the third occasion they played the par-five 18th hole on the extra day.
Nomura led by only one stroke going into the third round.
Teammates Scott Brown, left, and Kevin Kisner leave the 17th green with par during the final round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament's new two-man team format at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Sunday, April 30, 2017.
Former world No. 1 Jordan Spieth and fellow Texan Ryan Palmer were a further stroke back after a 70 for 202.
The good friends held the lead after both the second and third rounds, and while they momentarily lost it to Kisner and Brown midway through Sunday - they quickly reclaimed it, along with a slighly delayed victory and the Zurich Classic trophy.
Brown's approach into the green went long and he missed his birdie putt from the fringe.
A Florida State Men's Golfer has now won at least one PGA Tour event in each of the last three years.
Blixt is now the fourth most successful Swede in PGA Tour history, behind Henrik Stenson, Jesper Parnevik and Carl Pettersson, who all have five wins.
Kisner's chip-in - which skipped on a wet green, hit the pin and dropped in from almost 95 feet - forced the 23-year-old Smith to make a 1 1/2-foot birdie putt. "I feel like I have the best partner here, and he's been playing great this week".
"Seeing how he played golf, the sky's the limit for him", Blixt said during the post-round interviews.
The final round will use the four-ball (best ball) format, which generally yields low scores because players can be aggressive. They are the only team without a bogey.
"When you get a putt where the wind is blowing one way and you've got the grain the other, and the hill back with the wind, you just have no idea what that putt is going to do", Spieth said.
We certainly can not wait to see how team play at the Zurich Classic evolves over the years. "I didn't want to play another hole".
Stacy Lewis had bogey-free 66 that pushed her from tied for 44th place after 36 holes up to fifth. When he made par from the sand on the 16th and Larrazabal bogeyed, the lead turned into three.
That ripped victory from Smith and Blixt, and likely meant we were coming back on Monday to settle things. They had fallen behind by two strokes, with Kisner and Brown birdieing 10 of their first 11 holes Sunday.
Play was suspended earlier in the day for almost 6 1/2 hours due to severe thunderstorms, necessitating the need for Monday's playoff.