For a second consecutive year, crowd favorite Jordan Spieth mounted a meaningful Sunday charge that gave him a chance to win a title at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
But this time, Spieth’s final-round effort was only the second-best surge during crunch time by a title contender. The decisive rally came from Kevin Kisner, who bagged four back-nine birdies at Colonial Country Club – including three in a row at Nos. 10-12 – to rally for the second victory of his PGA Tour career.
“It’s never easy for sure on this tour,” Kisner said. “Guys were making runs all around. I was making a little run and just fortunate to come out on top.”
Kisner, 33, posted a closing 66 and 10-under-par tournament total of 270 to hold off Spieth, the defending champ, and two other golfers by one stroke. It marked the third consecutive year for Spieth, a Dallas resident and the defending champion, to finish as a runner-up or better at Colonial.
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“I wanted to get to that 10 number standing on 18 tee. I had my opportunity there on 17,” Spieth said. “I hit so many great putts today. I hit a bad putt on 17. It was pretty frustrating.”
But the title went to Kisner, who jump-started his back-nine surge with a 40-foot birdie putt at No. 10 and capped it with a 5-foot par on the final hole after pushing his drive into the right rough at No. 18. Kisner, who played college golf at Georgia, posted a 32 on the back nine, the lowest closing stretch of any Colonial frontrunner.
Before winning Sunday, Kisner had finished as the runner-up in two other events this season (Arnold Palmer Invitational, Zurich Classic of New Orleans). He received a career-best payday of $1,242,000 at Colonial. Kisner’s other PGA Tour triumph came at the 2015 RSM Classic.
Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm finished in a tie for second.
“Starting on 10, putts didn’t seem to drop. Lip out on 10, the one on 11 was going dead center, and so and so on with many other from makeable distance,” Rahm said. “After a great comeback on the front nine, it’s just sad, you know, to play like I did.”
Third-round leader Webb Simpson was next at 272. He shot a 71 on Sunday after consecutive scores of 68, 66 and 67.
“I didn’t play that bad. I hit so many good putts that didn’t go in,” Simpson said. “I’ve got to take away the good from here and move on.”