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gpolit.com February 21, 2018


Woodland Downs Reavie In Playoff To Seize Phoenix Crown

08 February 2018, 09:52 | Ken Black

Justin Thomas goes from dream round to nightmare at Phoenix Open Sam Greenwood Getty Images

Justin Thomas goes from dream round to nightmare at Phoenix Open			Sam Greenwood  Getty Images

Gary Woodland parred the first playoff hole against Chez Reavie to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday.

Fowler, who was the 54-hole leader at 14 under, bogeyed three consecutive holes from Nos.

Woodland beat Chez Reavie, who carded a final round 66, with a par on the first extra hole. He twisted open a cold bottle of water, took a sip, and put it back in his bag.

After driving into a fairway bunker at the first playoff hole, the par-four 18th, Woodland blasted out to the front edge of the green, from where he needed only two putts to clinch his third PGA Tour victory after Reavie ran up a bogey.

Beginning the day in a share of the advantage, Fowler missed the green and bogeyed the par-three fourth but bounced back to post a close-range birdie at the eighth.

"Gary was that guy that was due (for a win)", said Matt Kuchar, who played nine holes of practice with Woodland on Tuesday.

Woodland finally grew emotional in the press tent after the tourney when discussing why he pointed to the sky.

"I didn't think he was going to be there".

Jaxon was born 10 weeks premature last June and spent an extended period in the hospital.

Although he didn't win, the result was Schniederjans' best since a solo second at the Wyndham Championship last August, and he has been inside the top 25 in five of seven starts this season. "It obviously was a long year for us, but I'm very happy to be holding him and to be where I'm at today".

Now 10th in driving distance this season (313.9 yards), Woodland has always been one of the PGA TOUR's heavier hitters, but pal Matt Kuchar noticed he had taken it to another level when the two played a nine-hole practice round together the Tuesday before the WMPO. His putter betrayed him when he contended.

"That was just kind of a tribute to previous year", he said. It's just I've been feeling good, hitting good shots.

1 Woodland was helped immensely by his new short-game coach, Pete Cowen, and informal putting lessons from Brad Faxon.

"It's been a frustrating five years, but I've battled through it".

"There's no doubt about that".

"I was in the zone", Woodland said.

"Really took off about four months", said Woodland, who moves from 38th to fifth in the FedExCup standings. "Fortunately, I walked up and I really got a good read off it right away". "And didn't play great, got hurt again in 2012 and battled injuries for awhile".

"He just really had a solid year, all the way around", right tackle Lane Johnson said.

"Last three years I've been healthy", he said.

"Butch sent me a text Thursday morning before I played and said, 'Forget about everything else, let's just put four rounds together".

He appeared to want it too badly at times.

"I carried the sign board here growing up when I was in high school and junior high and to have a chance to win the tournament this week was a lot of fun", Reavie said. "That adds a lot of pressure". "It's always tough to make more birdies when you're trailing the leaders but I was calm".

"It's a collection of courses I really like", Mickelson said.



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