Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Golf: Woodland Wins Phoenix Open in Playoff

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Golf: Woodland Wins Phoenix Open in Playoff

Article excerpt

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. * Gary Woodland beat Chez Reavie with a par on the first hole of a playoff Sunday in the Phoenix Open.

Playing three groups ahead of Reavie, Woodland birdied three of the last four holes for a 7-under 64 the best round of the day to finish at 18-under 266 at TPC Scottsdale.

"I'm kind of overwhelmed right now," Woodland said. "I've played well the last five years, I think I had six second-place finishes. I just haven't put four rounds together. That was the struggle last year."

Woodland celebrated with wife Gabby and son Jaxson Lynn, who was born a month premature in June. They were expecting twins, but lost one in a miscarriage.

"For him to be here, it's obviously a miracle," Woodland said. "I'm just so excited to share this with him and my family. Hopefully, it's the start of something special."

Reavie made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to force the PGA Tour's fourth straight playoff and the event's third overtime finish in a row.

"It's right up there with the putt I made to win in Canada," the 36-year-old former Arizona State player said. "It was a lot of fun. Fortunately, I walked up and I really got a good read off it right away."

In the playoff on 18, Woodland hit short of the green from the left fairway bunker and chipped to 2 feet to set up his third PGA Tour victory and first since 2013.

"It's been coming. We knew it the last month," Woodland said. "And sure enough today it all clicked and I made some putts early, gave me some confidence and really hit the ball well coming down the stretch."

Reavie missed the green left in the playoff and couldn't get an 11-footer to fall.

"I carried the sign board here growing up when I was in high school and junior high and to have a chance to win the tournament this week was a lot of fun," Reavie said.

The crowd was estimated at 64,273 for a record weeklong total of 719,179.

On Saturday, 216,818 jammed the grounds, the biggest turnout in golf history.

"They were great," Reavie said. "Being a hometown guy, everyone's rooting me on."

He finished with a 66. After a bogey on the par-3 16th, he chipped to 3 feet for birdie on the par-4 17th.

Woodland two-putted for birdie on the par-5 15th, curled in an 8-footer on the par-3 16th, made a 5-footer on the par-4 17th and parred the par-4 18th. …

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