Kevin Kisner’s eagle sends Classic of New Orleans to Monday play-off
Kisner and Scott Brown will face Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith after dramatic finish
Kevin Kisner eagled the 18th to take the Classic of New Orleans to a play-off on Monday. Photograph: Chris Graythen/Getty
Long-time leaders Blixt and Smith had looked set to win the two-man competition - the first official team event on the PGA Tour in 36 years — after finding themselves in a seemingly invincible position on the par-five 18th.
However, Kisner stunned their opponents by chipping in for an eagle from 95 feet to leave Smith needing to hole his short birdie putt to avoid defeat.
With darkness closing in at TPC Louisiana following delays of more than six hours because of thunderstorms, the 23-year-old Australian coolly drained his putt to leave both teams on 27 under par for the tournament and set up a play-off on Monday.
Smith and his Swedish team-mate Blixt sat atop the leaderboard after both the second and third rounds, and boasted a four-shot lead coming until Sunday’s fourballs.
Their impressive final round of 64 included eight birdies, but it was not enough to hold off the challenge of American duo Kisner and Brown, who finished with a 12-under-par 60.
They picked up shots on 10 of the opening 11 holes in a blistering start before Kisner’s late heroics kept them in contention for the title.
Kisner said of his briskly-hit shot which brought the eagle: “We knew we had to have it. All I was trying to do was make sure I didn’t leave it short. I couldn’t see much. I knew it was breaking a little right, and when it hit the flag I said, ‘Don’t you come out of there.”’
Blixt said on www.pgatour.com: “You have to expect the unexpected.
“We have another shot at it tomorrow, and we just have to leave this behind and try to go out there and make birdie or eagle on 18 tomorrow and try and win this tournament.”