KORN FERRY TOUR FINALS
Grillo claims victory in season finale
October 04, 2015
By Joe Chemycz, PGATOUR.COM
- October 04, 2015
- Emiliano Grillo poured in a clutch 25-foot birdie at the last to win the Web.com Tour Championship. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Emiliano Grillo and Chez Reavie were deadlocked at 13-under heading to the 72nd hole of the Web.com Tour Championship. Both hit the par-4 finishing hole in regulation with Grillo set to putt first. The 23-year-old from Resistencia, Argentina drained a 25-footer for birdie to complete a final-round 69. Reavie stepped up, missed his bid to send the tournament into extra holes and tapped in for par making Grillo the second-youngest winner in Tour Championship history.
“I knew that I needed to win,” said Grillo of his clutch effort. “I gave my best out there, and I think the best thing I did all day was making that putt on 18.”
Grillo finished at 14-under 266 for his first Tour victory. The $180,000 first-place check moved him to No. 4 in the final priority ranking.
“It's great,” said Grillo, who is set to start his quest for a FedExCup in at the Frys.com Open in California in a little more than a week when the PGA TOUR’s 2015-16 wraparound season kicks off. “It's been a great week. I'm on the PGA TOUR and it feels great.”
Mark Carnevale of PGA TOUR Radio on PGATOUR.COM calls Emiliano Grillo's birdie on No. 18 to win the Web.com Tour Championship.
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Sam Saunders (67) posted 12-under-par, good for solo third, while Austrlalia’s Rhein Gibson (65) finished fourth after stumbling with a bogey on the closing hole at TPC Sawgrass – Dye’s Valley Course.
The Web.com Tour Championship was the season-ending event and 50 players were awarded their 2015-16 PGA TOUR cards on Sunday evening after the tournament.
The drama on Sunday at the Tour Championship was as good as advertised. Grillo and Reavie went back-and-forth most of the afternoon. Grillo led early on before a bogey at No. 8 left him tied with Reavie. Reavie then birdied the par-4, ninth hole to take a one-stroke lead into the final nine.
Grillo answered on the very next hole with a birdie of his own to regain a share of the lead. Reavie then dropped a shot on the par-3, 11th to fall one behind Grillo.
Grillo rattled off seven straight pars and arrived to the 18th hole tied with Reavie after the TOUR veteran birdied the par-5, 16th. With the tournament on the line, Grillo rose to the occasion and ended Reavie’s campaign for a second win in the Finals with a birdie-3 at the last.
“It was a great feeling making that putt,” Grillo said. “I was hoping to get it done before that, but it took that putt on the last hole and I'm really glad it went in.”
Reavie came up a shot shy of a playoff but his second-place performance secured him the top spot in the Finals and fully exempt status on TOUR.
“It's everything,” said the 33-year-old Scottsdale, Arizona resident about becoming fully exempt on TOUR once again. “A couple of years ago I was hurt and didn't know where I was going to end up and here I am playing the best golf of my life and I've got a spot back on TOUR.”
Two weeks ago, Reavie won the Small Business Connection Championship at River Run. The former RBC Canadian Open champion‘s stellar play during the four-event series also awards him a spot in THE PLAYERS Championship next season.
“I'm just excited,” Reavie said. “I haven't played THE PLAYERS now in a couple years and am really excited to get back.”
Patton Kizzire concluded his Tour season with a birdie on his final hole, posted 67 to finish 10-under and tied for fifth. Kizzire, who had a Tour-leading 12 top 10s this season, also earned fully exempt status by winning the Tour’s season-long money title.
“It's hard to believe,” said the 29-year-old Sea Island resident. “I've always believed in myself but it's hard to believe that I came out on top. I don't like to think about what I've done, I just like to keep going and try to do better.”
Emiliano Grillo interview after winning the Web.com Tour Championship
Sunday weather: Mostly cloudy. Wind W-NW 7-14 mph. High of 77.
• Lift, clean and place conditions were in effect for the fourth straight day.
• This week’s Web.com Tour Championship was the culmination of the four Finals events that started with the Hotel Fitness Championship in Fort Wayne, Indiana, followed by the Small Business Connection Championship at River Run near Charlotte, North Carolina, and last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio. The fields included players from the Web.com Tour (Nos. 1-75 on the money list) and PGA TOUR (Nos. 126-200 on the FedExCup standings, including non-members and medicals, and excluding those otherwise exempt).
• A total of 25 PGA TOUR cards were determined through the Web.com Tour’s 21-event Regular Season, which ended after the WinCo Foods Portland Open in August. Those 25 players were assured of PGA TOUR cards for the 2015-16 season, which starts with the Frys.com Open Oct. 12-18.
• An additional 25 PGA TOUR cards were awarded Sunday to the top money winners in the four Finals events. The two lists of 25 will be merged to determine the Finals Priority Ranking, which will be used to form PGA TOUR fields for the upcoming season.
• There were five players that moved into the Top 25 of the Finals money list thanks to their play this week – Derek Fathauer, Tyrone van Aswegen, Robert Garrigus, Thomas Aiken and Rob Oppenheim. Losing spots inside the top 25 at TPC Sawgrass were Eric Axley, Ryan Spears, Steve Allan, Justin Hicks and Jhonattan Vegas. Each of those five missed the cut.
• Emiliano Grillo earned his first career win Sunday in his sixth career start on the Web.com Tour, and his fourth of the year.
• Grillo’s win comes at the age of 23 years and 20 days.
• Grillo is the 15th player in his 20s to win on the Tour this year in 25 tournaments.
• Grillo is the second-youngest player to win the Web.com Tour Championship. David Duval was 21 years, 11 months and 8 days old when he captured the Tour’s first Championship title in 1993. Stewart Cink was 23 years, 4 months and 29 days when he won in 1996 and Nick Watney was 23 years, 6 months and 6 days when he won in 2004.
• Grillo is the ninth player in his 20s to win the Web.com Tour Championship.
• Grillo is the 16th first-time winner in 25 Web.com Tour events this year.
• Grillo is the sixth player to make the Web.com Tour Championship his first career win: Steve Flesch, 1997; Nick Watney, 2004; Matt Every, 2009; Brendan Steele, 2010; Derek Fathauer, 2014; Emiliano Grillo, 2015
• Grillo is the third player from Argentina to win in Tour history. Miguel Carballo (2 wins) and Fabian Gomez are the others.
• Grillo is the seventh international winner on Tour in 2015 – Mathew Goggin/Australia, Dawie van der Walt/South Africa (2 wins), Rod Pampling/Australia, Abraham Ancer/Mexico, Si Woo Kim/South Korea, Henrik Norlander/Sweden, Emiliano Grillo/Argentina.
• There were eight players in this week’s field that are currently ranked among the top-200 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how they fared:
Rank Player Scores Finish 82 Hiroshi Iwata 66-67-74-67 -- 274 (-6) T18 85 Emiliano Grillo 66-64-67-69 -- 266 (-14) 1st 110 Patton Kizzire 70-67-66-67 -- 270 (-10) T5 113 Marcel Siem 69-69-73 -- 211 (+1) WD 150 Thomas Aiken 69-67-69-65 -- 270 (-10) T5 153 Martin Piller 69-66-68-73 -- 276 (-4) T30 181 Dawie van der Walt 70-69-68-74 -- 281 (+1) T56 197 Hao Tong Li 75-70 -- 145 (+5) MC
• Kizzire finished as the Tour’ leading money winner and earns fully-exempt status for the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season and a exemption into THE PLAYERS Championship in 2016.
• Chez Reavie’s runner-up finish this week was worth $108,000 and solidified his hold on the number one spot on the Finals money list. Reavie also earns fully-exempt status for the 2015-16 season and an exemption into THE PLAYERS Championship next spring.
• Reavie missed most of the 2014 season recovering from surgery on his left wrist and was on Medical Exempt status on the PGA TOUR this year. He made eight cuts in 19 starts and had three top-25 finishes including a T12 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He ended the year No. 166 on the FedExCup standings.
• Roberto Castro matched the course record Sunday with an 8-under 62 that saw him hit 17 greens in regulation. Castro was 8-under after a birdie at the par-5, 16th hole and had two more birdie chances. His 30-footer at No. 18 came up about an inch short for 61.
“Straight uphill and I hit it perfect,” he said of the final attempt. “It just kind of died right in the mouth there.”
Castro tied the record set by Tommy Gainey in the second round last year.
Castro now owns a share of the course record at both courses at TPC Sawgrass. He shot a 9-under 63 in the opening round of THE PLAYERS Championship in 2013 to tie the low round on that course.
“It was the first round of my first PLAYERS, so it was kind of a big round,” said Castro. “The longest putt I made was six feet. I think I could (play) another hundred years and never have a ball-striking round like that. This was more typical, you know, birdie the two par-5s, make some crazy putts, make some 10-footers.”
Castro finished No. 188 in the FedExCup standings but regained his PGA TOUR card via the Finals. Castro tied for ninth two weeks ago at the Small Business Connection Championship at River Run and tied for second at last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship after holding the 54-hole lead.
His 62 Sunday moved him up from T56 to start the day into a T10 finish. His Finals money total of $130,785 put him No. 5 on the Final Priority Ranking.
This year was quite a turnaround for Castro, who finished No. 51 on last year’s Priority Ranking, missing out on his card by $31.66.
• Rob Oppenheim gained the final spot in the Priority Ranking with a T12 finish this week. Oppenheim was at 7-under 273 and the prospect of making the list did not appear good for this year’s winner of Air Capital Classic in Wichita. Oppenheim’s fate changed when former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover bogeyed the final hole to fall from 8-under to 7-under and out of a three-way tie for 10th and into a five-way tie for 12th.
The change in prize money resulted in Oppenheim’s payday going from $18,200 to $19,000 and upped his total in the Finals to $32,206 and put him at No. 25 on the list. Oppenheim pushed Eric Axley (missed cut) into the No. 26 spot with the difference only $101.00.
In a twist of fate, Axley grabbed the final spot on the Priority Ranking last year, beating out Roberto Castro by $31.66.
• Top money-winner Patton Kizzire finished strong on the weekend and pushed his way into a tie for 5th place, his 12th top-10 finish in 23 starts this year. Kizzire’s check for $35,125 upped his season total to $567,865, the second-highest single-season total in Tour history:
$644,142 Michael Sim 2009 (14 starts) $567,865 Patton Kizzire 2015 (22 starts) $535,432 Chesson Hadley 2013 (22 starts) $529,792 Adam Hadwin 2014 (21 starts) $515,403 Carlos Ortiz 2014 (19 starts) $515,184 Michael Putnam 2013 (23 starts)
• Kizzire spent the last 16 weeks of the season at No. 1 on the money list. That’s the fourth-best total in Tour history to close out a season:
24 weeks Michael Sim 2009 20 weeks Tom Lehman 1991 18 weeks John Flannery 1992 16 weeks Patton Kizzire 2015
• Kizzire’s 16-week run at No. 1 tied the sixth-best total for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 in a single season:
24 weeks Michael Sim 2009 20 weeks Tom Lehman 1991 19 weeks Carlos Ortiz 2014 18 weeks John Flannery 1992 17 weeks Mark Carnevale 1997 16 weeks Mark Hensby 2000 16 weeks Patton Kizzire 2015 15 weeks Michael Putnam 2013
• Low rounds of the day:
62 – Roberto Castro
65 – Thomas Aiken, Rhein Gibson, Aaron Baddeley
66 – John Merrick, Tyler Duncan, Derek Fathauer
• Scoring Averages for the week:
Front (35) Back (35) Total (70) Cumulative Round 1 34.693 35.520 70.213 --- Round 2 34.771 35.177 69.948 70.084 Round 3 35.069 34.846 69.915 70.048 Round 4 34.629 34.800 69.429 69.874