Patton Kizzire prevails in playoff to win Sony Open
January 15, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Patton Kizzire hangs on in playoff to win the Sony Open
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Patton Kizzire craves being uncomfortable so it makes perfect sense he would win the Sony Open in Hawaii in a week where strange events were common place.
With a false alarm for a missile strike, picketing television crews, a six-hole playoff and a good friend of the TOUR in the ICU in critical condition the week at Waialae Country Club was one for books.
But ultimately it was Kizzire who claimed his second PGA TOUR win this season, outlasting James Hahn as the sun began to set in Honolulu.
And he immediately put his mind forward towards a third.
“I love trying to get better and putting myself in uncomfortable spots. That's all I want to do is just to be somewhere that I've never been because that gets me uncomfortable. That's when I know I'm doing something right,” Kizzire said after the wacky week.
“I'm just going to keep working hard. I want to get the third win. The first win was big, and this one is even bigger.”
Kizzire jumped to a huge lead in the FedExCup after becoming the first multiple winner this season. Having first won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall Kizzire now has 1,213 FedExCup points – a 452-point lead over second placed Pat Perez.
He was already a lock to make the FedExCup Playoffs (it took just 365 points last season) and now appears a lock to make it all the way to the TOUR Championship. (It took 1322 points last season).
“Our ultimate goal is to be No. 1 at the end of the year,” he said.
“We've got a long way to go. A fast start is always a positive. I'm excited to be back on top and look forward to taking that Cup.”
Patton Kizzire rattles the flag for an eagle at Sony Open
HAHN HIT HARD BY LOSS: James Hahn was a dejected figure after falling to Patton Kizzire in the Sony Open playoff.
A tournament low 8-under 62 catapulted the two-time PGA TOUR winner into extra holes but in the aftermath, he admitted finding positives in a loss is a trait he basically does not have.
“I played good enough to win, but I didn't. So for me, it’s not how many birdies I make, if I'm not coming out of the room with the trophy, it really feels like I was defeated out there,” Hahn said.
“I'd rather lose by 100 than lose by 1. I'd rather miss the cut than lose in a playoff. It just doesn't sit well with me. I feel really defeated right now.”
Hahn admits he will replay the bad shots he hit in the final round over and over again in his head and that the loss will stick with him for some time.
Most notably a putt to win the tournament on the first playoff hole and a putt to stay alive on the sixth playoff hole.
He had a chance to win the AT&T Byron Nelson last season and fell away late – a loss that has stuck with him since. Now he has another painful memory to drive him forward.
“You get to this level where you might only have two, three, four opportunities to win out on TOUR. These guys are really good,” he said.
“So any time you have an opportunity to win and you don't close the deal, I feel like it's just one less opportunity for me. I'm sure a lot of the great competitors feel the same way.
“Michael Jordan, he doesn't shake hands at the end because he just hates losing so much, and that's just me. Take it or leave it. I hate losing. It's just one of those things where I feel like I'm 36 years old… only a handful of opportunities, and I've let one slip away today.”
Hahn moved to 18th in the FedExCup.
HOGE HURT BY LATE DOUBLE: Through 15 holes on Sunday Tom Hoge looked like becoming the latest first-time winner on the PGA TOUR but a double bogey on the 16th hole curtailed his charge.
From the middle of the fairway just 156 yards from the pin Hoge pulled the ball left into the bunker and then failed to find the green with his third.
He ultimately made a six, going from one in front to one behind.
He still had a chance to make birdie on the 72nd hole to join a playoff but was unable to find the bottom of the cup.
Despite the stumble it was an experience Hoge can build on going forward.
“I was kind of in between yardages,” Hoge said of the fateful swing.
“I was trying to play kind of a low draw to get to the back pins there and just kind of flipped to the bottom left.
“It's kind of just building on things. I played pretty well, and I felt like today I had pretty good beliefs in myself that I could get it done. Felt good the whole way. The next time you get back, it will make it a little easier.”
Hoge moved to 19th in the FedExCup with his third-place finish.
Justin Thomas – The defending champion shot 67-67-66-68 to finish in a tie for 14th. He was 15 shots behind his record breaking 253 of last season. “I played well this week. I'm pretty disappointed with where I'm going to end up finishing,” he said. “I played way better than this. I should have not only, I feel like, won the golf tournament, but I should have had a chance coming down the back nine.”
Jordan Spieth – A final round 4-under 66 for the former FedExCup champion left him in a tie for 18th, six shots back of the playoff.
Brian Harman – Brian Harman is now five for five in top-10 finishes this season so far but once again he fell short of victory. A final round 70 left him tied fourth, two shots out of the playoff. His 2017-18 results now read T5-8-T4-3-T4.
QUOTABLESI've got a lot of work to do with the putter, it's as simple as that. Everything else is plenty ready to winI definitely had enough gas for the playoff. It's just, God, I'm just hungryMy golf game is a roller coaster. It always has been.
I easily, easily could have won this golf tournament by a pretty good amount of strokes. So that part's a little upsetting.
I went by this morning, and he's responsive to the extent that he's in pain, and he said his last name, asked about his friends, asked the nurse to pray for him.
Low round: 8-under 62 – James Hahn produced the round of the week with nine birdies and just one bogey. He also had two more birdies in the six-hole playoff.
Longest drive: 359 yards – Corey Conners on the par-4 10th. He made birdie.
Longest putt: 50 feet, six inches – Brandon Harkins on the par-4 15th for a birdie.
Easiest hole: The par-5 9th played at 4.118 with six eagles, 55 birdies and 15 pars.
Hardest hole: The par-4 13th played at 4.250 with five birdies, 47 pars and 24 bogeys.