HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Matt Fitzpatrick defeated defending champion Jordan Spieth on the third playoff hole at the RBC Heritage on Sunday, stuffing his approach in close on the par-4 18th at Harbour Town to secure his first victory since the U.S. Open last June.
Fitzpatrick hit 9-iron to within 1 foot on the famed, closing lighthouse hole to set up the winning birdie on the Pete Dye course he played as a child on vacation.
Fitzpatrick had to sweat out a couple of prime chances by Spieth on the first two playoff holes. Spieth raised his putter in triumph before watching his 12-foot birdie putt catch the right edge and spin out the first time they played the 18th. Then Spieth’s 10-foot birdie attempt ran out of steam on the right edge at the 17th hole.
There was no doubt about the final hole as Fitzpatrick, from 187 yards out, hit the front of the green and watched the ball settle next to the hole. Spieth’s attempt from 26 feet away rolled past and Fitzpatrick tapped in for the victory.
Fitzpatrick won $3.6 million from the elevated purse of $20 million in the sixth designated event of the year on the PGA Tour.
Fitzpatrick trailed Jordan Spieth by two with five holes to play until birdies on the 15th and 16th holes. He closed with a 3-under 68. Spieth had to make a 6-foot par putt on the 18th for a 66 to force a playoff at 17-under 267.
The RBC Heritage ended in a playoff for the second straight time. Jordan Spieth beat Patrick Cantlay in a playoff last year. Cantlay had a 68 on Sunday and finished one shot out of the playoff.
KORN FERRY TOUR
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Spencer Levin closed with an 8-under 63 and won the Veritex Bank Championship on Sunday, his first Korn Ferry Tour title and a big step toward getting back to the PGA Tour.
Levin, who had to qualify to get into the tournament, started the final round seven shots behind Brett Drewitt at Texas Rangers Golf Club. They were tied going down the stretch until Drewitt took bogey on the 17th as Levin was on his way to making birdie on the par-5 closing hole. Drewitt birdied the 18th for a 70 to finish one shot behind.
Rico Hoey had consecutive eagles around the turn on par 5s and closed with a 63 and tied for third with Patrick Fishburn (66).
Levin’s only other wins came in 2007 and 2008 on the Canadian tour. He last played a full PGA Tour schedule in 2017. The victory in Texas moved him to No. 11 in the points. The top 30 after the season earn PGA Tour cards.
Sam Saunders closed with a 65 to finish fifth, moving to No. 14 on the points list.
HONOLULU (AP) — Australian rookie Grace Kim closed with a 4-under 68 and won the LOTTE Championship on Saturday at Hoakalei Country Club for her first LPGA Tour title, beating Yu Liu and Yu Jin Sung with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.
While Liu and Sung scrambled after hitting their second shots to the left of the green on the par-5 18th, the 22-year-old Kim went over the water to the right, then chipped to 8 feet to set up her birdie.
Kim now heads to Texas next week for the Chevron Championship, the first LPGA major of the year.
Kieran Vincent of Zimbabwe made a 12-foot birdie on the final hole for a 6-under 66 and a one-shot victory over Anirban Lahiri (64) and Kevin Yuan (68) in the International Series-Vietnam on the Asian Tour. Vincent became the second member of his family to win an International Series event. Scott Vincent won in England last June. Taiga Semikawa closed with a 4-under 67 for a four-shot victory over Takahiro Hataji in the Kansai Open. It was Semikawa’s third win on the Japan Golf Tour, but his first as a pro. He won twice while in college.
Kyle Barker closed with an 11-under 61. He won the Stella Artois Players Championship by six shots on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. Akie Iwai shot even-par 72. He held on for a one-shot victory in the KKT Cup Vantelin Ladies Open on the Japan LPGA. Joo Mi Lee closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory over Hyun Kyung Park in the Mediheal-Hankookilbo Championship on the Korea LPGA.
Author: Pete Iacobelli, The Associated Press
Photo Credit: © David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
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