Kizzire tops Hahn in play-off for Sony Open title

Los Angeles: Patton Kizzire parred the sixth playoff hole on Sunday to vanquish James Hahn and seize his second US PGA Tour title of the season at the Sony Open in Hawaii. The marathon playoff capped a day when Kizzire needed all of his patience at Waialae in Honolulu. He parred the first nine holes before an eagle at the 10th gave him a share of the lead. After another birdie and a bogey he finished with a 68 for 17-under 263. Hahn was already in the clubhouse at 17-under after a storming final-round 62, and it would take half a dozen more holes to determine the winner.
“It wasn’t necessarily pretty but it was nice to come out on top,” Kizzire said. “James had a great round today.”
Kizzire, who won at Mayakoba in Mexico in November, became the tour’s first two-time winner in the 2017-18 season when he finished off Hahn at the par-three 17th. Kizzire was just off the green, 22 feet from the hole and Hahn further off the putting surface.
Both opted to putt, Kizzire leaving himself a four-footer that he made after Hahn’s eight-foot effort caught the edge but didn’t drop.
“It was kind of a marathon playoff,” Kizzire said. “I was hoping I could make an eagle on the first hole and end it quickly but I’ll take it any way I can get it.”
Kizzire and Hahn both opened the playoff with pars at the par-five 18th.
Both birdied 18 when they returned again for the second hole, then both parred the par-three 17th.
They returned again to 18, where Hahn got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker while Kizzire two-putted for birdie from 28 feet.
Both were in a greenside bunker at 18 for the fifth playoff hole and came up with pars. Hahn had been a perfect 2-0 in previous tour playoffs, winning both of his titles to date in extra holes.
Seven adrift to start the day, he roared up the leaderboard with an eight-under par round.
Hitting them good
His nine birdies included five in a row from the eighth through the 12th, and he added two more at 14 and 15 to get to 17-under.
“I was hitting them good,” Hahn said. “Anytime I’m hitting them good I feel like I can go after flags and not worry about where they’re going where they’re missing. Short game was on, there was no reason not to fire at the flag,” he added.
Walking off the 72nd green, however, Hahn wasn’t expecting to be in a playoff, with the closing holes at Waialae offering birdie chances to those still on the course.
Overnight leader Tom Hoge, chasing a first US PGA Tour title, was 18-under after rolling in a 21-foot birdie putt at the 12th. But he made a double-bogey from a bunker at 16 and missed a birdie chance at 18 that could have seen him in the playoff.
Hoge signed for a two-under par 70 that left him alone in third on 16-under 264. It was a further stroke back to Webb Simpson, Brian Stuard and Brian Harman on 265. Simpson and Stuard both posted five-under 65s while Harman, tied for second with Kizzire to start the day, carded a 70.
— AFP