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Chris Kirk wins Honda Classic in playoff; 1st title since 2015

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Chris Kirk waited practically eight years to win a PGA Tour occasion once more. Ready yet one more gap on Sunday was no drawback.

Kirk caught his method to the par-5 18th to tap-in vary, and his birdie on the primary gap of a playoff lifted him previous Eric Cole for the victory on the Honda Traditional on Sunday.

Cole had an opportunity, taking part in his third shot from the sand to simply outdoors of 10 toes for a birdie that will have prolonged the playoff. But it surely lipped out, and Kirk nudged his ball in for his fifth profession win — his first since prevailing at Colonial in 2015.

I used to be clearly very, very nervous at this time having not received in so lengthy, Kirk stated. Coming down the stretch, I felt good.

And hell be the final Honda winner. The automotive firm is ending its title sponsorship of the occasion after 42 years, with a brand new sponsor set to be in place — the PGA Tour hopes, anyway — within the coming weeks.

They completed 72 holes tied at 14-under 266, Kirk capturing 69 on Sunday, Cole capturing 67.

Kirk earned $1,512,000 for the win, and is now eligible to play the Masters once more for the primary time since 2016. Cole earned $915,600 for the runner-up end, a examine that greater than doubles what the 34-year-old has earned in 14 earlier tour begins.

Kirk went to the par-5 18th with a one-shot lead. His tee shot discovered the golf green. His second shot discovered the water, resulting in bogey. Cole made par, giving Kirk new life within the playoff.

Dangerous swing on the fallacious time. … Thank God it labored out, Kirk stated.

Kirk hadnt held a trophy since 2015. That is to not say he hasnt carried out any successful in that span.

He walked away from the sport in Might 2019 due to alcoholism and despair. He struggled with nervousness, struggled to cope with strain, although he had a penchant for making it look like no large deal on the golf course — he was a four-time winner, plus made a giant putt to assist the U.S. win the Presidents Cup at South Korea in 2015.

The tour gave him a significant medical extension for the time he missed, which means he had a set variety of tournaments to do properly sufficient to regain his full standing. He received it again by the slimmest of margins on the Sony Open in 2021.

And now he is a champion once more.

I simply have a lot to be pleased about, Kirk stated. I am so grateful for my sobriety, I am so grateful for my household, I am so grateful for everybody that has supported all through the previous three or 4 years.

Tyler Duncan, ranked No. 360 on this planet coming into the week, shot 66 on Sunday and was third at 12 underneath. Monday qualifier Ryan Gerard, taking part in the weekend for the primary time on the PGA Tour, shot 67 and completed fourth at 10 underneath.

Gerards profession earnings on tour went from $0 to $411,600. His plans for the following few weeks may be altering based mostly on this end.

Ive received to go guide some flights and lodge rooms, swipe the bank card, stated Gerard, who got here into the week ranked 472nd on this planet. Well see what occurs.

Defending champion Sepp Straka (68) was in a gaggle tied for ninth at 9 underneath, with all 4 of his rounds within the 60s. Additionally in that group: Shane Lowry, who had an opportunity to win the Honda final 12 months and completed with an even-par 70.

I performed pretty, and I simply could not get it going, Lowry stated.

DIVOTS

  • It was the primary playoff for each Kirk and Cole.
  • Jhonattan Vegas had the spherical of the day with a 64, getting to five underneath. He began birdie-birdie-eagle, made a 50-footer for double bogey on the par-3 fifteenth after his tee shot discovered the water, then made a 36-footer for an additional eagle to cap the spherical.
  • Billy Horschel (72) battled via sinus points and completed 2 underneath for the week, after having a share of the first-round lead. The Florida native nonetheless hasnt received a tour occasion in Florida, now 0 for 40.

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