Kevin Kisner finally broke through on Sunday (May 28) for his first victory since 2015, holding off a strong field at the PGA Tour’s Colonial with a closing round of four-under 66.
Kisner’s second career victory contrasted sharply with this first win at the 2015 RSM Classic which he won with six shots. He finished 72 holes at 10-under 270 just one stroke ahead defending champion Jordan Spieth, Spaniard Jon Rahm and American Sean O’Hair.
Before his win, things seemed rather tense. “You start questioning if you’re going to win again after a while,” Kisner said. “Everybody was questioning if I was ever going to win. Then I win, and then everybody questions if I was ever going to win again.”
When asked after his Colonial win, Kisner had this to say:
“I am just honored be the champion and to be able to come back every year see my name on the champions wall will be something special. I am happy to win any tournament but especially here.”
Spieth shot one of the best scores of the day, a bogey-free five-under 65, while O’Hair and Rahm both shot 66 to finish in a three-way tie for second. Second -and third- round leader Webb Simpson bogeyed the 18th hole to finish alone in fifth and Danny Lee of New Zealand ended up with three shots adrift and alone in sixth place.
It was overcast and humid during the fourth round at the Colonial Country Club. Conditions which were most conducive all week to low scores.
Kisner, runner up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this year, birdied the 10th hole and the 11th to tie Simpson for the top spot and took the lead outright with a birdie on the par-four 12th. He then rolled in a birdie at No. 15 to extend his lead to two shots. That was halved by a bogey on the 16th hole, bu his up and down for par at the 18th green secured the win.
Two-time major winner Spieth was pleased with his performance this week after coming off two consecutive missed cuts, the first time that has happened in two years. This was his fourth start in the tournament as he also tied for 2nd two years ago. After birdies on the par-four 10th and the par-four 15th, Spieth was able to put some pressure on the leaders.
Spieth said: “Today was a fun round. I felt those nerves and I was just a couple of lipouts away from having a chance.”
The Tour rookie Pahm, who graduated from Arizona State University only one year ago and has already risen to No. 12 in the world, was making his Colonial debut. He finished with five birdies and just one bogey on Sunday.
Steve Stricker, the 2009 Colonial winner who turned 50 this year, shot a 63 to move from a tie for 32nd to a tie for seventh for 6 under. He had eight birdies his first 14 holes Sunday, on track to challenge the Colonial course record of 61 and maybe even a 59, before a bogey and three closing pars.
Steve Stricker, Brian Harman, and Scott Piercy finished for seventh four shots behind Kisner.
Kisner earned a check of a little over $1.2 million and the winner’s plaid jacket.