Calum Hill has won his first European Tour title and Kevin Kisner's won his first playoff, at the sixth attempt. Steve Rawlings looks back at their victories with his weekly review piece here...
"With Henley flapping on the back-nine, it was impossible to pick a winner of the Wyndham Championship, as player after player threw his hat in the ring."
Rasmus Hojgaard began the final round of the Cazoo Classic on the European Tour with a three-stroke lead and Russell Henley led by the same margin through 54 holes of the Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour.
Both men had begun the week trading at around 40.039/1 and both men began the final day odds-on across the board and only slightly odds-against on the exchange. Both men started slowly. Hojgaard bogeyed the first and played the first four holes in one-over-par, Henley bogeyed the second and parred holes one, three and four.
Both men then birdied the fifth and eighth holes to make the turn in one-under-par and both men traded at odds-on during the final round. Hojgaard at 1.75/7 and Henley 1.341/3.
Both men then played the back-nine in over-par (Hojgaard +1 and Henley +2) and both men suffered the same fate. Defeat. That's where the similarities end.
Hojgaard never really got going after his incredible 10-under-par 62 on Saturday and given he looked out of it at halfway, trading at 90.089/1, I suspect the 20-year-old Dane will shrug of the disappointment of defeat in no time at all but given Henley led from the very start and only fell behind when he missed from inside four feet for par on the 72nd hole, I suspect it may take the 32-year-old a little longer.
Having hit the front in round three, Jordan Smith traded at a low of 2.01/1 on Saturday at the Cazoo Classic. The eventual second, Alex Levy, was matched at just 2.47/5 after he'd birdied five holes in-a-row in from the 11th in round four and Matt Cooper's 66/1 each-way fancy, Jamie Donaldson, who finished tied for third, touched 2.26/5 before he played his last six holes in-one-over-par but it was Scotland's Calum Hill that kept calm to close the deal.
The pre-event 36.035/1 chance had traded at a low of 1.341/3 at the Hero Open just seven days earlier before losing his way on the back-nine but he kept his cool brilliantly yesterday. After bogeying the fourth he birdied six of the next 11 holes before sealing the deal with a great par save at 17 and a straightforward par at the last. Hill is the fifth first time winner in-a-row on the European Tour.
With Henley flapping on the back-nine, it was impossible to pick a winner of the Wyndham Championship, as player after player threw his hat in the ring.
My 80.079/1 pre-event pick, Justin Rose, had started the final round nicely, playing the first five holes in four-under-par but he cooled off after that, and he looked a huge threat when he birdied the 13th but he played the last five holes in two-over-par to miss out on a place in the playoff by two.
Had Henley holed his par save at the last, as many as seven would have played off for the title and that would have been a PGA Tour record, but it was competitive enough with six, and the market could barely split them. Here's how the market looked before extra time.
Adam Scott 5.49/2
Kevin Kisner 5.59/2
Branden Grace 5.59/2
Kevin Na 5.79/2
Si Woo Kim 6.25/1
Roger Sloan 7.613/2
The outsider of the six, and the only man seeking his first PGA Tour win, 220.0219/1 chance, Roger Sloan, was the first to trade short in the playoff. After Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na, Si Woo Kim and Branden Grace had all hit poor approaches, Sloan was matched at 2.89/5 when he hit his second shot to within 12 feet but he didn't head the market for long.
Pre-event 85.084/1 chance, Adam Scott, hit his second shot to four feet and after the first four players had scrambled par fours, and Sloan had missed his birdie attempt, the Australian was matched at a low of just 1.261/4 but the long odds-on backer's fingers were badly burnt.
4' 3" putt for the win on the 1st playoff hole ...? PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 15, 2021
Adam Scott was 53 of 54 for the week inside 5 feet. pic.twitter.com/P4aQJYnjfy
At the second time of asking, pre-event 60.059/1 chance, Kevin Kisner, who was well supported from around the 75.074/1 mark, was the only player to threaten the hole with their second shots and unlike Scott, he made no mistake from four feet, rolling his birdie putt in for his fourth PGA Tour title.
The 37-year-old has now won a tournament every two years since 2015 and he's finally won one in extra time. This was Kisner's sixth playoff appearance!
The three Find Me a 100 Winner picks were all poor and I had no luck at the Cazoo Classic but it was a case of close but no cigar yet again on the PGA Tour.
Rose falling short was disappointing but my only other pre-event pick, Kevin Na, who I backed at 55.054/1, was one of the losing playoff protagonists and I did at least get a chance to trade him...
Na hit a low of just 2.6613/8 when he eagled the par five 15th to tie the lead and I managed to lay him at 3.02/1. I also layed Henley before the final round but all I achieved there was to retrieve losses made on Hojgaard but it was a far from a disastrous week thanks to Na.
Kisner and Scott strengthen Sawgrass link with Sedgefield
As many as five of the last 11 winners of the Wyndham Championship have also won the Players Championship at Sawgrass and it was very nearly six.
Scott won the Players Championship back in 2004 and the second of Kisner's five playoff defeats was in the 2015 edition of the Players.
Had Scott rolled in his birdie at the first extra hole, I'd have been kicking myself for not backing him before the off. In addition to having the Players win under his belt, Scott had a very similar profile to the man I did back - Rose. He had winning form at another Donald Ross designed course (East Lake) and just like Rose, Scott was hanging around the 125 mark in the FedEx Cup standings.
Scott moved up from 121 to 82 in the standings with his tied second to secure his place in The Northern Trust on Thursday but Rose's bogey at the 72nd hole cost him a place in the line-up. He'd began the week in 138th place and he finished it in 126th.
In a quite astonishing turn of events, Rose's miss allowed Chesson Hadley to move up into 125th place to keep his card for next season and to get into the Northern Trust and all that happened because he shot a brilliant final round of 62 that included this, his very first hole-in-one.
I suspect Hadley may well be celebrating harder than Kisner!
The FedEx Cup playoffs kick off on Thursday with The Northern Trust and we're off to the Czech Republic on the European Tour for the D+D Czech Masters. I'll be back later today or tomorrow with the previews.
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