Woodland aces playoff to lift Phoenix crown

Wednesday, 07 Feb, 2018

Gary Woodland celebrates after winning the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale. "Obviously he's been through a lot and we just didn't want to expose him to too many people", Woodland said Sunday evening. I mean, obviously, I knew what's been going on the last couple years, short game needed some adjustment. I feel very emotional right now.

“Im kind of overwhelmed right now, ” Woodland said. I just haven't put four rounds together. "Hopefully, it's the start of something special".

Eleven months later, Gabby surprised her husband by bringing the other twin, Jaxson, born in June, to watch his daddy win a playoff against Chez Reavie at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He held a two-shot lead after Reavie bogeyed No. 16, but Reavie rallied to close with a pair of birdies, forcing a playoff with a 21-foot putt on the 18th hole.

But it was Gary Woodland who shone brightest on Sunday, posting a total of -18 after a seven-under-par 64.

However, Chez Reavie, having bogeyed the par-3 16th, came in with a clutch birdie-birdie finish to take it to a playoff for the PGA Tour's fourth in a row.

Reavie is one of the shortest hitters on the PGA Tour, but he is also one of the straightest and when they went back to play the 18th again he duly found the centre of the fairway again, while Woodland found the bunker on the left. Woodland and his wife were expecting twins previous year when - in March - health complications led to the loss of one child. On Saturday, 216,818 jammed the grounds, the biggest turnout in golf history.

Ollie Schniederjans posted a bogey-free 65 to end the week in a share of third with Brendan Steele, with Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar part of the group a further stroke back on 14 under.

The 47-year-old Hall of Famer tied for fifth at 14 under after a 69.

Woodland started Sunday's final round just 3 back of Rickie Fowler.

"That was just kind of a tribute to a year ago", he said.

"I know his Achilles heel has been his putting, it's hard to fix that away from tournament pressure but he definitely he has the ball-striking capabilities to win another major this year".

After holing his last putt, he looked up and pointed to the sky. Woodland had not won a PGA Tour event since 2013, and he was happy to get back into the winner's circle.

Woodland had nine birdies on Sunday and led the field in birdies over the weekend to take home his most prestigious win of his career as well. I have been playing well for a while now and was really in control of all parts of my game all day long. "That's one of the best clubs in my bag".