Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Woodland downs Reavie in playoff to seize Phoenix crown

Woodland downs Reavie in playoff to seize Phoenix crown

Last March, Woodland and his wife, Gabby, lost one of their unborn twins, a girl. I'm really happy; one to be holding him and also to be where I'm at. On Sunday at TPC Scottsdale, he was in his father's arms at the trophy celebration after a playoff victory. "Hopefully, it's the start of something special".

"Yeah, that was just kind of a tribute to past year", Woodland said after shooting a final-round 64 and beating Chez Reavie with a par on the first playoff hole at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

However, Reavie bogeyed the 18th hole in sudden death to hand Gary Woodland the title.

Playing three groups ahead of Reavie, Woodland birdied three of the last four holes for a 7-under 64 - the best round of the day - to finish at 18-under 266.

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It had been almost 10 years since Reavie's first and only win to date on the PGA Tour when successful at the 2008 Canadian Open but when he birdied his final two holes including one from 25 feet at the last he had joined Woodland at 18 under par and the door was open for win number two.

Welcome to the Monday Finish, where Woodland's driving was characteristically strong, and he made 200 feet of putts on the weekend to break a five-year winless drought. "The caddie told me today, "hey, this has been building, this is coming", and sure enough today it all clicked and I made some putts early, gave me some confidence and really hit the ball well coming down the stretch".

Sunday's crowd was estimated at 64,273 for a record week-long total of 719,179.

"Really took off about four months", said Woodland, who moves from 38th to fifth in the FedExCup standings.

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It marks six times now that Fowler had held a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour - but only once has he converted that into a win (2017 Honda Classic).

Fowler finished T11 for the event but said on Saturday that he was buoyed by the over 216,000 in attendance. Needing to eagle the par-4 18th to pull even with Woodland, he made double-bogey to finish T5.

After holing his last putt, he looked up and pointed to the sky. "I don't know if that put me at ease or what, but I definitely put four good rounds together this week".

Woodland, typically one of the longer hitters on the PGA Tour, has spent a lot of time recently working on his short game with noted golf coach Pete Cowan and he paid tribute to that work after his round. "I've played well on them in the past, and I'm hoping to build on this week's performance".

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Fowler missed birdie chances at the 10th and 14th and found the water off the next tee to see his challenge fade, as Woodland dropped a shot at the 14th but tapped in at the par-five next.

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