Lee wins Greenbrier Classic
Danny Lee clinched his first PGA Tour win after outlasting David Hearn, Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner in a play-off at the Greenbrier Classic.
Lee, who became the first New Zealander to win a US PGA Tour title in ten years, was joined by Hearn at the second play-off hole after he made a brilliant 20-foot putt under immense pressure. Sterb and Kisner were both eliminated after missing the green long at the first play-off hole.
This was Kisner’s third play-off loss this year after he was beaten by Jim Furyk in a two-hole playoff at the RBC Heritage in April and by Rickie Fowler in a tense four-hole playoff at The Players Championship in May.
With two players down and two left, Lee made par at the second play-off hole, which was played at the 17th, despite his tee shot dropping well left of the fairway. Luckily for Lee, his next shot gave him an opening from the rough, while Hearn was left ruing his luck as a tree ended up blocking his way.
Lee then played a six-iron to 40-feet and two-putted it into the hole for par, while Hearn was left frustrated after finishing with a bogey.
As a result of winning the Greenbrier Classic, Lee qualified for the Open Championship, the PGA Championship and next year’s Masters.
Lee booked his spot in the play-off after carding a final-round 67, which saw him make two birdies and a bogey on his front nine and two birdies on his back nine, including a crucial one on the 17th. However, his most impressive shot of the round came at the par-three eighth when he sunk a 36-foot birdie putt.
“All I can say is wow…I finally did it,” said Lee, who has an impressive 21 starts this season, on ESPN
“I never get tired of playing golf. I mean, it’s my job, and I just love doing it, and I’m just happy to be out here every week.”
Hearn catapulted himself into the playoff after recording five birdies and two bogeys during his final-round 67. The Canadian had a chance to win the tournament outright on the 18th, but his 12-foot birdie putt fell two agonising inches short of the cup.
Kisner enjoyed a highly successful final round as he registered a 64, which included seven birdies and a bogey.
Streb meanwhile looked to be the favourite to win despite breaking his putter on the ninth. The 28-year-old was forced to use his 56-degree wedge to putt throughout his back nine, but actually did a lot better as he made five birdies and a bogey to go with the two birdies and bogey he recorded on the front nine.
Despite falling one stroke short of the play-off, Russell Henley had the round of the day as he carded a 63, which included nine birdies and two birdies, to soar up 30 spots to fifth on the leaderboard. But, the 26-year-old’s best moment of the round came when he made an incredible 42-foot birdie putt at the par-four 14th.
The biggest disappointment of the day was perhaps Justin Thomas, who sat atop the leaderboard for eight holes before self destructing with a bogey at the ninth and 13th, a double bogey at the par-four 10th and a quadruple bogey at the par-four 16th. As a result, he plummeted down the leaderboard to finish tied 54th.
World number three Bubba Watson finished his tournament with a 67, which consisted of four birdies, a bogey, a double bogey and an unbelievable eagle on the par-four 16th from 121-yards out.
Former world number one Tiger Woods also had a reason to smile as he ended on a high by registering a bogey-free round of 67 which saw him finish in a tie for 32nd, six shots off the pace.
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