By Staff and Wire Reports of Global Golf Post
On a Sunday that started with Rickie Fowler leading and Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau bunched near the top, did anyone have Gary Woodland and Chez Reavie in a playoff?
That’s the way it happens sometimes.
While Fowler and Rahm did themselves in with late mistakes and Mickelson couldn’t quite muster what he needed at the end, Woodland and Reavie made it look almost routine. Woodland shot 64, making three late birdies to post 18 under and force someone to match him.
Reavie did it by holing a 21-foot birdie putt on the 72nd green to force the playoff, his second birdie in a row after almost kicking the tournament away with a bogey at the super-charged par-3 16th. Chasing his second Tour victory, Reavie bogeyed the first extra hole after he missed the green with a wedge on his approach shot.
For Woodland, the victory is another step away from last year when he and his wife, Gabby, dealt with losing one of the twins they were expecting. Woodland was holding his young son, Jaxson, immediately after his victory Sunday.
“It was a long year for us. I’m very happy to be holding him and to be where I am,” Woodland said.
Aware his short game needed improving, Woodland went to work with instructor Pete Cowen and he has seen the results. Woodland said his confidence in his short game has allowed him to be more aggressive with his long game and his work with coach Butch Harmon.
“We’re still building. We still have some work to do,” Woodland said.
For Rahm, who closed with a 72, the flat finish wasn’t nearly as ugly as his 75-77 weekend at Torrey Pines but he made too many mistakes coming in, costing himself a chance to win.
Fowler, too, will look back at Phoenix as a missed opportunity. He bogeyed the 15th, 16th and 17th holes, his game turning ragged on the scoring holes.
Mickelson, however, managed to push Woodland and Reavie down the stretch, making three consecutive birdies starting at the 15th. As good as it was, it was too late but it reaffirmed Mickelson’s contention that he is close to winning again for the first time since 2013.
Driver: TaylorMade M3 440 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Acra Tour-Z RPG (tipped 2 inches)
Swing Weight: D4
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M2 2017 (15 and 18 degrees)
Shafts: Accra Tour-Zx 4100
Irons: Titleist 716 MB (4-9)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper Limited Edition Black PVD X-Flex
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (48-10 F Grind, 52-08 F Grind, 56-10 S Grind), Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind (60-10)
Shafts: KBS Hi-Rev Black PVD S-Flex
Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype
Golf Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X
Republished with permission from Global Golf Post