Spi­eth charges, but Kis­ner nabs Colo­nial

Cape Breton Post - - Sports -

Kevin Kis­ner birdied the first three holes on the back nine to take the lead and held on to win at Colo­nial de­spite a Sun­day charge by de­fend­ing cham­pion Jordan Spi­eth.

Kis­ner shot a 4-un­der 66 to fin­ish at 10-un­der 270, in­clud­ing a clutch par save on the 18th hole after a way­ward tee shot and an ap­proach that was off the back side of the green and well be­low the hole. He fin­ished a stroke ahead of Spi­eth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm.

Spi­eth shot a bo­gey-free 65, and was stand­ing on a chair to see over the crowd at the 18th green when Kis­ner putted up the mound to 5 feet of the cup and then made the win­ning putt. That came right after Rahm’s 10-foot birdie chance skirted just to the left of the hole.

The 33-year-old Kis­ner got his sec­ond PGA Tour vic­tory in 148 starts since his de­but in 2011, and a check for just more than $1.2 mil­lion. He was a run­ner-up twice this year,

and six times over past three sea­sons.

Kis­ner had a three-stroke lead at the turn on the fi­nal day of the Arnold Palmer In­vi­ta­tional in March be­fore fin­ish­ing a stroke be­hind Marc Leish­man. Kis­ner made a nearly 95-foot chip-in for ea­gle to get him and fel­low Aiken, South Carolina, res­i­dent Scott Brown into play­off at the Zurich Clas­sic’s new team for­mat be­fore los­ing to the Aus­tralian duo of Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt on the fourth ex­tra hole.

After a 14-foot birdie at the 420-yard 15th hole at Ho­gan’s Al­ley, Kis­ner had a two-stroke lead. That at the same hole where Spi­eth, play­ing two groups ahead of him, punc­tu­ated an 11-foot birdie putt with a fist pump.

But about the same time Kis­ner made a bo­gey at the par-3 16th, Spi­eth was hit­ting his drive way right at the 18th hole and went on to save par after a chip to 5 feet. Kis­ner hit a sim­i­lar drive, and also saved par.

Spi­eth, who had missed con­sec­u­tive cuts at The Play­ers Cham­pi­onship and the AT&T By­ron Nel­son, was try­ing to be­come the only player other than Ben Ho­gan to win con­sec­u­tive Colo­nials. Ho­gan won five times, in­clud­ing the first two in 1946 and 1947, along with con­sec­u­tive wins again in 1952 and 1953.

O’Hair and Rahm, who the last two years won the Ben Ho­gan Award as the na­tion’s top col­lege player, both shot 66.

Adam Had­win (70) of Ab­bots­ford, B.C., was the low Cana­dian at 4 over. Gra­ham DeLaet (71) of Wey­burn, Sask., was 5 over, Ab­bots­ford’s Nick Tay­lor (71) was 6 over and David Hearn (73) of Brant­ford, Ont., was 10 over.

There were sev­eral near misses for Spi­eth, who started the day five strokes be­hind 54hole leader Webb Simp­son.

Spi­eth had birdies on the first two holes be­fore a nearly 20-footer lipped out at the 453yard No. 3 hole. He also just missed a 12-footer at No. 9, and a 25-footer at the 446-yard 12th hole rolled over the left edge of the cup.

Simp­son, the 2012 U.S. Open win­ner, was the 54-hole leader by two strokes, but started the fi­nal round with an un­usual bo­gey at the par-5 first hole. His only birdie came at No. 9, and he bo­geyed the 18th when he drove into the left rough after Kis­ner had al­ready posted his fi­nal putt. Simp­son had a 71 fin­ish fifth at 8 un­der.

AP PHOTO

Kevin Kis­ner tosses a ball be­fore his tee shot on the 18th hole dur­ing the Dean & DeLuca In­vi­ta­tional golf tour­na­ment at Colo­nial Coun­try Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Sun­day.

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