Hilton Head Island, SC (SportsNetwork.com) – Jim Furyk birdied both playoff
holes on Sunday to defeat Kevin Kisner and win the Heritage.
Furyk fired an 8-under 63 in the final round to post 18-under-par 266. Kisner,
who was in the final group, two groups behind Furyk, birdied the final hole of
regulation to force the extra session. Kisner closed with a 7-under 64.
The duo returned to the 18th at Harbour Town Golf Links for the first extra
hole. Both players found the fairway off the tee and Furyk dropped his
approach just inside eight feet.
Kisner answered by knocking his second shot to 17 feet, then poured in his
birdie effort to put the pressure on. Furyk answered as he drained his birdie
chance to extend the extra session.
They headed to the par-3 17th, and both players found the green with their tee
shots. Kisner’s 22-footer for birdie failed to find the cup and he tapped in
Furyk didn’t miss. He converted his 12-foot birdie putt for his 17th PGA Tour
title and first since the 2010 Tour Championship. Though he trailed entering
the final round, Furyk had blown nine 54-hole leads since his last victory.
“I’ve let so many slide by, I really kind of dug deep today and happy I got it
done,” said Furyk.
Troy Merritt, who led after the second and third rounds, posted a 2-under 69
and ended alone in third at 16-under-par 268. Brendon Todd carded a 4-under 67
to grab fourth place at minus-15.
Last year’s winner, Matt Kuchar, was one shot back at 14-under-par 270 after a
3-under 68. Sean O’Hair, who lost in a playoff to Jordan Spieth at the Valspar
Championship, shot 7-under 64 to end alone in sixth at minus-13.
Masters champion Spieth closed with a 1-under 70 and ended in a tie for 11th
at 10-under-par 274.
The final round was played early to beat storms that were forecast for late
afternoon. Part of the final round was played through rain, but there were no
Furyk, who started the day four strokes off the lead in the third-to-last
group, birdied the second and fourth to get off to a quick start. A 9-foot
birdie putt at the sixth kicked off a hot stretch of golf.
“I hit a bad drive at two. I hit a bad second shot at two. I hit 14 trees down
the right side, then hit a 9-iron to two feet and made birdie. Tugged it off
three … hits a tree and drops into the fairway. Tugged it off the fifth tee
real bad, hit tree and dropped in front of the lake instead of going in the
lake and turned that into a par,” Furyk explained.
“At that point, I’m thinking you have to start hitting the ball at little bit
better here, but things were going my way. Then I kind of righted the ship
from six through 10, and felt a little better about my swing, and putts were
After a birdie at the par-3 seventh, he poured in a 48-footer for birdie at
the eighth and drained a 10-foot birdie try at nine to make it four in a row.
Furyk made the turn at 16-under, but 3-putted for bogey at the par-4 11th. The
2003 U.S. Open champion still led by one at that point, but birdies at 12 and
13, both from inside eight feet, extended his advantage.
After a par at 14, Furyk dropped in a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-5 15th.
He parred the final three holes to post 18-under.
Kisner chipped in for eagle at No. 2, then converted back-to-back birdie
chances at five and six to climb to minus-15.
The 30-year-old ran off seven consecutive pars from the seventh, then birdied
the 14th from seven feet out and followed with another birdie on the par-5
15th to move within one of Furyk.
Kisner parred his next two holes before dropping his approach at the last
seven feet from the hole. He knocked that in for birdie to force the playoff.
“I’m proud of the way I handled it. I’m just glad to be in that position,”
Kisner said. “I gave myself chances. He birdied 18 and 17. I’ll live with that
and just try to win next week.”
NOTES: Furyk collected $1.062 million for the victory … This was the 12th
playoff in tournament history, and 10th this season on the PGA Tour …
Furyk’s 63 was the best closing round for a winner in tournament history …
This was Kisner’s best PGA Tour finish … Merritt was looking for his first
tour win … The top-64 in the world rankings on Monday will qualify for the
WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship in two weeks … The PGA Tour heads to
Louisiana next week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where Seung-Yul Noh
will defend his title.