Gary Woodland Beats Chez Reavie in Playoff to Win Waste Management Open

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2018

Gary Woodland tees off at the second hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Gary Woodland saved his best for last, coming from three shots back at the start of the final round to defeat Chez Reavie in a playoff to win the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

After shooting 67-68-67 over the first three rounds, Woodland had Sunday's low score with a 64. He won on the first playoff hole after Reavie's par putt came up just short, leaving Woodland with an easy tap-in to earn his first PGA Tour win since 2013. 

By jumping seven spots to win the tournament, Woodland added an extra zero to the payout he was looking at if he'd finished in eighth place. 

Here's how the final leaderboard from the Phoenix Open turned out:

Per Golf.com, Woodland will take home $1.242 million.

As for how Woodland made the move, he came out of the gate on fire with a five-under 30 on the front nine. But it wasn't until this birdie on No. 16 that he was able to earn a share of the lead:

Woodland's putting ability was on full display in this round, with no real missteps over the course of 19 holes:

He appeared to be in good shape for a win with a two-stroke lead after Reavie bogeyed the 16th hole. That moment seemed to refocus Reavie, who would force the playoff with birdies on the last two holes of regulation. 

Playoffs are becoming a common occurrence on the PGA Tour this season. Jason Day defeated Alexander Noren on the sixth playoff hole at last week's Farmers Insurance Open. 

Per Justin Ray of the Golf Channel, the Waste Management Phoenix Open has a playoff streak going:

Woodland had one moment in the second round when he could have knocked himself out of contention. He had a triple-bogey on his fourth hole Friday that dropped his score to two under par, but he rebounded quickly by playing the rest of the round at five under. 

Being able to quickly correct course to remain in contention by the end of the second round and keep posting low scores over the final two rounds, Woodland was able to end his five-year winless drought. 

Rickie Fowler ended the third round alone in the lead at 14 under par, but his margin for error was slim with six players within two shots of him. He failed to make a move on Sunday, posting his worst score (73) of the weekend to finish tied for 11th.

A double-bogey on the final hole tainted what had been an excellent tournament for Phil Mickelson up to that point. Lefty finished tied for fifth at 14 under par, his best score since the 2016 Safeway Open.  

Woodland had been searching for consistency this season, with just one top-10 finish prior to the Phoenix Open. Everything finally came together for the 33-year-old as he got that long-awaited taste of victory. 

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