Streb opens door to a world of possibilities
New season could be huge for the PGA TOUR'S latest first-time winner
October 26, 2014
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
- Robert Streb poses with his wife Maggie after winning The McGladrey Classic in a sudden-death playoff. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Robert Streb is going to miss his chance to play Pebble Beach this season but a trip to Augusta National will likely ease the pain.
Streb defeated Brendon de Jonge and Will MacKenzie in a playoff to win The McGladrey Classic on Sunday, moving to the top of the FedExCup standings and earning a number of other perks, including a two-year exemption on the PGA TOUR and a trip to the Masters Tournament in April.
The trio finished at 14-under 266 and, after MacKenzie (68) bowed out on the first playoff hole, Streb (63) defeated de Jonge (65) by hitting an 8-iron to 4 feet and converting the birdie bid on the par-3 17th.
"I was pretty nervous over those couple of short putts," Streb said. "That 8-iron worked out pretty perfect there on 17. It was nice to have a short putt down the hill to try to (win)."
Streb's reason for skipping February's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am? His wife Maggie is expecting the couple's first child on Feb. 9 -- the week of that tournament.
Maggie, who travels with her husband to every event, had a first-hand look at her husband's run of four back-nine birdies, including a 19-foot putt on the 16th and a 33-foot putt on No. 17 to gain a share of the lead. She was back on the 17th to see Streb's winning shots.
"I stayed pretty calm the whole time," Maggie said. "I knew whatever happens is meant to happen. I got a little nervous on the 17th hole during the playoff, after Brendon missed his putt and (Robert) was putting … I was just excited for him and excited that all of his hard work has paid off."
Up to this point, Streb's work had gotten him close but not quite over the top.
A runner-up finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last season was his best finish before this week. In two previous TOUR seasons, he has ended the FedExCup chase in 126th (one spot shy of the Playoffs) and 71st (missing the 2014 BMW Championship by one position).
Streb believed he'd missed out again when his attempt at birdie on the 18th came up a half-foot short. It would have been his fifth birdie in a row and put him at 15 under, one clear of de Jonge and MacKenzie, who each had holes to play. Instead, Streb had to play the waiting game.
"I honestly thought somebody would probably get to 15 (under) and they didn't," Streb said. "But I was just trying to stay loose and not get too worried about it."
Neither was able to birdie the par-5 15th. MacKenzie dropped a shot on the 16th and got it back on the 17th while de Jonge parred his last six holes, allowing Streb to get his chance in the playoff.
Arguably the best chances to pass Streb went to de Jonge, who had four birdie bids from inside 25 feet coming down the stretch. Instead, he settled for a third-consecutive closing 65 at The McGladrey and the second runner-up finish of his TOUR career.
"It was nice to play a strong last round to obviously get a chance to win the tournament," de Jonge said. "(Streb) hit a great shot, and it's nice for him to have a birdie. It's a good way to win the tournament."
Ken Duke shared fourth with a trio of former Georgia Bulldogs -- Russell Henley, Kevin Kisner and 2013 McGladrey winner Chris Kirk.
Robert Streb wins in playoff at The McGladrey
MacKENZIE MAKES WAVES: Two-time TOUR winner Will MacKenzie nearly made his way into the winner's circle for the first time since 2008.
The 54-hole co-leader hit his third career hole-in-one during Saturday's third round. On Sunday, he pushed his way into a three-man playoff with Brendon de Jonge and Robert Streb on Sunday but bowed out with a bogey on the first extra hole.
"First tournament of the year, somehow wiggle up into a playoff," said MacKenzie, who was nearly seven weeks removed from his last TOUR start. "I mean, it's pretty big. It was a great week, but … I just didn't execute right down the stretch."
For the second consecutive day, MacKenzie took a 5 on the par-5 15th. He followed it by three-putting the 16th for bogey to drop out of the lead. He rebounded by hitting his 181-yard tee shot to 5 feet on No. 17 for birdie and nearly holing a putt from off the 18th green that would have won the tournament in regulation.
"I had some great shots," he said. "I had that shot on 17. That was huge. And then I had the great putt there (on 18) … It's a bummer, but I accrued a few (FedExCup) points."
With his share of second, MacKenzie jumped to seventh in the FedExCup standings. He's never finished better than last season's mark of 65th in the season-long competition.
PETERSON ON TRACK: John Peterson's debut season on the PGA TOUR wasn't what he was hoping it would be.
The LSU product missed 17 of 25 cuts, including his last six, in his rookie campaign but is off to a good start in 2014-15. He's made 3 of 3 cuts and, after a career-low-tying 64 Sunday at The McGladrey Classic, he finished tied for 22nd -- his best finish on TOUR since June.
"It's amazing the comfort level that's different out here when you're in your second year opposed to your first," he said. "Last year, I wasn't very comfortable -- ever, really … Now I'm just kind of out there with everyone else. It's just a comfort level that I didn't have last year that I have this year that makes me feel so much better about the year."
Peterson, who recently moved back to Texas to be closer to his family, credited the quick pace of play for his stellar round. He was in the first twosome off the first tee Sunday with tournament host Davis Love III.
"We played in 2 hours and 56 minutes," he said. "Davis plays fast. I play fast. That's, in my opinion, how it should be … Davis is a great guy. I couldn't ask for a better pairing."
Now 46th in the FedExCup, Peterson is off to a strong start in his sophomore campaign on the PGA TOUR. He's scheduled to make two more starts in 2014 -- the Sanderson Farms Championship and OHL Classic at Mayakoba -- before spending the rest of his calendar year "hunting for about a month and a half or two months."
BEST SOCIAL MEDIA OF THE DAY
Thanks @McGladreyClssc for a very nice tourney. Everything about this week is first class— Mark Anderson (@mark_andersonsc) October 26, 2014
KIZZIRE CONFIDENT AHEAD OF STAGE TWO: Last Sunday, Patton Kizzire won a four-man playoff featuring a quartet of local up-and-coming golf pros for the final sponsor invite into The McGladrey Classic.
After an opening 66 and a pair of even-par 70s on the weekend, the 28-year old from Auburn had completed his first four-round event on the PGA TOUR tied for 54th
"I had fun," Kizzire said. "I'm not exactly pleased with the way I played (this weekend). I know I can play a lot better. But it was good to get four rounds under my belt playing a PGA TOUR event and get a little more comfortable. The experience always helps. I know what I'm capable of and I was able to hang in there when I didn't have my best."
Kizzire had missed the cut in his two previous starts on the PGA TOUR and has made just one cut in six starts on the Web.com Tour. His next stop will be Southern Hills Plantation in Brooksville, Florida for the second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
CALL & SHOT OF THE DAY
Doug Bell of PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.COM calls Robert Streb's tee shot and birdie putt at No. 17 on the second playoff hole to win The McGladrey Classic.
PGA TOUR Radio play-by-play coverage broadcasts on SiriusXM and streams on PGATOUR.COM can be heard by clicking here.
Shot of the Day
Robert Streb strikes a beauty from the tee for Shot of the Day
ODDS & ENDS
Streb started the tournament with a double bogey on the first hole in Round 1. He bogeyed the hole on Sunday …
Maggie Streb predicted her husband's finish. According to Streb, she told him "You're going to shoot, you know, 63, 64 and you're going to win" before his final round ...
Just one player, Brendon de Jonge, has completed all 20 rounds in the history of The McGladrey Classic. His results have been T15 (2010), T60 (2011), T4 (2012), T16 (2013), P2 (2014) …
Tournament host Davis Love III closed with a 4-under 66 to share 41st …
Chris Kirk turned in the best performance of a defending champion in McGladrey Classic history, earning a share of fourth at Sea island.
Category Leader Statistic Strokes gained: tee-to-green John Peterson 3.617 Driving distance Tony Finau 322.0 yards Driving accuracy Robert Allenby 14 of 14 (100 percent) Greens in regulation Tommy Gainey 18 for 18 (100 percent) Strokes gained: putting David Toms 4.585 Putts per round Jason Kokrak, David Toms 25 Total birdies Robert Streb 9
SUNDAY'S TOP PHOTOS
Click on the image below to see the best images during the final round of The McGladrey Classic at Sea Island.