Patton Kizzire clings on to edge out Fowler in Mexico
Graeme McDowell finishes with final round 69 leaving him in 34th place at OHL Classic
US golfer Patton Kizzire after winning the PGA OHL Classic at Mayakoba, in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photograph: PA
On a gruelling 36-hole final day at the weather-affected tournament, Kizzire led by four with six holes remaining only for three birdies from his opponent to ramp up the pressure heading down the last.
However, when the Alabama-born 31-year-old managed to get his second to within 30 feet of the flag after an awkward stance on the edge of a bunker it was Fowler who cracked, leaving his approach even further away to hand his rival a straightforward two-putt for the win.
Kizzire, who had previously had two runners-up finishes in 64 starts, posted a 67 for a 19-under total.
“I was glad to get it done, Rickie made me work hard,” he said in his post-round interview.
Kizzire reached the turn in the final round with a three-shot lead and extended that when his wedge approach to the 11th left his ball hanging over the edge of the cup without dropping in for eagle.
However, Fowler whittled the lead down to one going down the last with three birdies in five holes but could have done better had he taken advantage of some wayward driving by his rival over the closing holes.
South Korea’s Si Woo Kim finished third after a closing 65, which included a run of five successive birdies in his front nine, lifted him to 15 under.
Kizzire, who shared the 36-hole lead with Fowler and Patrick Rodgers, had birdied the 17th hole of his third round earlier in the day for a two-shot swing over Fowler — Rodgers blowing his chances with a 72 — to give him a one-stroke lead on 15 under after signing for a 66.
Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who won the tournament in 2015, finished up with a two-under par 69, that left him six under overall. Teeing off on the back nine, an otherwise flawless round was disrupted by a double bogey on the par-4 first hole.