Patton Kizzire, a 31-year-old American with a World Ranking in the mid 200s, held on to win the OHL Classic in Mexico on Sunday, holding off fellow American Rickie Fowler and consigning the World No 10 to yet another runner-up finish on the PGA Tour.
A tap-in putt for par at the final hole of El Camaleon Golf Club at Mayakoba gave him a closing 4-under 67 and a 19-under 265 total that was good enough to edge out Fowler by a shot and earn Kizzire his first-ever PGA Tour victory.
South Korean Kim Si-woo who closed with a sizzling 65, finished third, four shots off the pace with a 269.
"It was pretty nerve-racking, but I felt really good," Kizzire told reporters after his triumph
Fowler, in his first start of the new 2017-18 season, birdied both the 16th and 17th holes to put some late pressure on Kizzire but came up short with a long, birdie putt at the last that could have forced a playoff.
Fowler, who also shot a closing 67, had to settle for his 12th runner-up finish in a career that also includes four victories - but you won't find him complaining. His $766 800 second prize hoisted him to more than $30 million in career earnings.
Unheralded Kizzire, meanwhile, has taken 63 starts to win his first PGA Tour title, but he made it clear that the experience he had picked up during that time had been invaluable last week.
"I've been in tough spots before and I drew from all my experiences," he said. "It means a lot. I'm pretty excited right now, pretty emotional and I was glad to get it done. Rickie made me work hard."
"I want to win golf tournaments so it feels good that I have got it done today. That gives me a lot of confidence.
"I understand There's a lot of good players out here, but I just want to keep working hard and win bigger and better things. The tournament this week was awesome and I was glad to have got my first win here."
LEADING FINAL SCORES
265 Patton Kizzire 62 70 66 67
266 Rickie Fowler 65 67 67 67
269 Kim Si Woo (KOR) 67 68 69 65
270 Charles Howell 68 70 66 66, Martin Piller 66 68 71 65
271 Ryan Moore 70 66 67 68, Scott Brown 67 69 66 69
272 John Oda 68 65 69 70
273 Brian Stuard 69 70 69 65, Abraham Ancer (MEX) 71 69 65 68, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 69 67 70 67, Russell Knox (SCO) 68 68 69 68.
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