DEAN & DELUCA Invitational
Fort Worth, TX
World No. 45 Kevin Kisner erased a 3-shot deficit with 4-under-par 34-32=66 in the final round of the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational to conclude on 10-under 270, good for a 1-shot win over defending champ Jordan Spieth, Sean O'Hair and Jon Rahm.
The Georgia alum, a pre-tourney 25/1 outright, claims a second PGA TOUR title in 148 career events, joining the 2016 RSM Classic (39 starts ago) where he was the 54-hole leader by three, shot 6-under 64, and won by six.
The win comes in his fourth DDI and is a third straight top 10 (T10/2016, T5/2015).
It’s the 33-year-old’s ninth top 25 of the season in 16 starts and fifth top 10, brushing aside previous bests of T2 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational – as the 54-hole leader – and P2 at the Zurich Classic three starts ago while teamed with Scott Brown.
He checked in off a missed cut (by two) at the Wells Fargo (75-72) and T56 at THE PLAYERS (71-75-73-75).
After opening in 67-67-70, Kisner began T4 on 6-under, three adrift of 54-hole leader Webb Simpson.
Playing out of the penultimate threesome, he found eight (of 14) fairways and 12 greens in regulation (GIR), posting 1.697 SG: Tee-to-Green and 1.956 SG: Putting.
The South Carolinian went out in 1-under, outpacing bogey-5 at three with birdies at 1 and 5 from 7’9” and 14’2”, respectively. After splashing in a 40-foot bomb for birdie-3 at 10, he now trailed leader Simpson by one:
Leaderboard at the turn:
1st- Simpson -9 (thru nine holes)
T2- Spieth -8 (thru 11)
T2- Kisner -8 (thru 10)
T4- O’Hair -7 (11)
T4- Rahm -7 (10)
Kisner circled 11 and 12 (both from inside of 10 feet) for three in a row, now the sole-leader by one over Simpson. He went two clear with birdie-3 at 15 (from 14’2”) before giving one back with bogey-4 at 16.
Spieth, two groups ahead, was bogey-free 5-under thru 15, but unlike last year, where he birdied the final three holes to win by three, he parred them this time, missing birdie from 12’2” at the 17th and saving par at the last to post the clubhouse lead on 9-under after a blemish-free 65.
O’Hair, one group behind Spieth, matched the clubhouse mark with 66, capping with a walk-off birdie-3 from 10’9”.
Now at the par-4 finisher was Kisner, playing with Rahm. Kisner missed the fairway and was over the green in two, 54’1” from the target. He used the flat stick to get on the surface, leaving 5’0” for par. His two blemishes earlier were both missed par-savers from between five and six feet.
Rahm, needing birdie to tie Kisner – and possibly win – missed birdie from 10’2”, ending his tourney debut with 66, while Kisner banged in his par-saver to assume the top spot on 10-under.
Now Simpson, still 9-under after opening his inward half with eight pars, needed birdie on the 72nd hole to tie. He missed the fairway and the GIR, and wound up bogeying the hole after a missed par-saver from 7’10”, finishing off a 1-over 71 (two bogeys, one birdie), and dropping to solo 5th, two adrift.
Kisner's Position by Round:
Kisner extends his fully exempt status through the 2018-19 season. He had already qualified for the 2017 U.S. Open and Open Championship and adds invites to the 2017 PGA Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, as well as the 2018 SBS Tournament of Champions and 2018 Masters.
With a Strength of Field rating of 319 (down from 366 last year), Kisner banks 50.00 world-ranking points and jumps 23 places to 22nd in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). His career high is 14th after the 2016 Sony Open.
He earns 500 FedExCup points for the victory and bumps 10 spots to 7th in the standings. His career high is 1st after the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Kisner is in the published field at this coming week’s Memorial Tournament.
Kisner’s 1st-place prize: $1,242,000
The DEAN & DELUCA was the final event (of five) on the Texas Swing.
Seven players recorded multiple top 10s in the Lone Star State led by Rahm with three:
Jon Rahm: T2 (DDI), 2nd (WGC-Match Play), T10 (Shell Houston Open)
Sean O’Hair: T2 (DDI), T5 (Byron Nelson)
Danny Lee: 6th (DDI), T5 (Byron Nelson)
Paul Casey: T10 (DDI), T9 (Match Play)
Brooks Koepka: 2nd (Valero Texas Open), T9 (Match Play)
Sung Kang: T6 (VTO), 2nd (SHO)
Bud Cauley: T5 (Byron Nelson), T10 (VTO)
Field Scoring Average:
This was the 70th playing of the DEAN & DELUCA with all 70 contested at Colonial Country Club.
7,204 yards; par 70 (35-35)
Kisner’s rounds: 67-67-70-66 for 13.960 SG: Total.
Kisner’s Key Stats:
T1 in driving accuracy
2nd in par-4 scoring
2nd in GIR
2nd in scrambling
2nd in SG: Around-the-Green
3rd in SG: Putting
Kisner’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 72 players):
Birdies: 16 (T8)
Bogeys: 4 (1st)
Double Bogeys: 1 (T21)
Par-3 Scoring: 3.06 (T26)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.85 (2nd)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.50 (T7)
Driving Distance (all drives): 275.0 yards (49th)
Driving Accuracy: 40/56 (T1) at 71.43 percent
GIR: 53/72 (2nd) at 73.61 percent
Proximity to hole: 32’11” (22nd)
Putts per GIR: 1.755 (T28)
Total Putts: 113 (T21)
Putts by Round: 29-31-27-26
Scrambling: 15/19 (2nd) at 78.95 percent
SG: Off-the-Tee: 0.883 (30th)
SG: Approach-the-Green: 3.259 (23rd)
SG: Around-the-Green: 4.116 (2nd)
SG: Tee-to-Green: 8.259 (5th)
SG: Putting: 5.702 (3rd)
A total of 72 players from a field of 121 made the 36-hole cut of 4-over 144:
43 (of 61) EARLY/late
29 (of 57) LATE/early; 3 WDs
11 players finished in the top 10 with EIGHT of those EARLY/late, including the champion.
18 tourneys this season with a traditional draw.
EARLY/late: 14 (77.7%)
Yahoo! Low Rounds:
R2: Danny Lee (64)
R3: Emiliano Grillo (65)
R4: Steve Stricker (63)
R2: Bud Cauley (66)
R3: Emiliano Grillo (65)
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: Derek Fathauer finished T48 (65-74-77-67). Drops to 0-for-4 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.
R1: J.T. Poston finished T41 (65-76-70-71). Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.
R1: Kelly Kraft finished T18 (65-73-71-69). Drops to 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader.
R2: Webb Simpson finished 5th (68-66-67-71). Drops to 1-for-8 as 36-hole leader/co-leader.
R2: Kevin Kisner finished 1st. Improves to 1-for-2 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Danny Lee finished 6th (70-64-69-70). Drops to 0-for-1 as 36-hole leader/co-leader.
R2: Scott Piercy finished T7 (68-66-72-68). Drops to 1-for-3 as 36-hole leader/co-leader.
R3: Webb Simpson drops to 2-for-7 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
Top 10 in OWGR (this week’s finishes):
1. Dustin Johnson (idle)
2. Rory McIlroy (idle)
3. Jason Day (idle)
4. Hideki Matsuyama (idle)
5. Henrik Stenson (T3 on Euro Tour)
6. Jordan Spieth (T2); UP one
7. Sergio Garcia (T12); DOWN one
8. Alex Noren (Won on Euro Tour); UP five
9. Jon Rahm (T2); UP three
10. Adam Scott (idle); DOWN two
18 of the Top 50 in OWGR were in the field
4 finished in the top 10:
No. 45 Kevin Kisner (1st)
No. 7 Jordan Spieth (T2)
No. 12 Jon Rahm (T2)
No. 14 Paul Casey (T10)
In total, 11 players finished in the top 10. Average world ranking: 69th
Other Notable Finishes:
No. 6 Sergio Garcia (T12); top-ranked player in field
No. 18 Matt Kuchar (T12)
No. 21 Phil Mickelson (T29)
No. 29 Si Woo Kim (CUT)
No. 44 Billy Horschel (T34)
No. 54 Brian Harman (T7)
No. 98 Steve Stricker (T7)
No. 208 Stewart Cink (T10)
No. 416 Curtis Luck (T34); career best
Consecutive top 10s on TOUR:
Sean O’Hair (T2-T5)
Danny Lee (6th-T5)
Byeong Hun An (T5-T8)
Consecutive top-10 streaks ended:
Bud Cauley (T41-T5-T5-T10-T9)
Nick Taylor (T61-T9-T8)
First-timers and/or Rookies:
Top-10 finishes: 1
Jon Rahm: The World No. 12 crafted a 4-under-par 33-33=66 in the final round to post 9-under 271, up four spots into a three-way T2, one short of champion and playing competitor Kisner.
He bumps three places to a career-high 9th in OWGR, and stays at No. 4 in the FEC standings, which remains a career high as well.
After opening in 66-69-70, the first-time member though not a rookie began in a two-way T6, four back of leader Simpson and one shy of Kisner.
Playing out of the penultimate threesome, he mustered seven (of 14) fairways and pelted 16 GIR, recording 4.413 SG: Tee-to-Green, No. 1 in the latter with a cumulative 11.448.
The 22-year-old, who arrived off T72/MDF at THE PLAYERS, squared a lone bogey-5 at 3 but played his final 15 in blemish-free 5-under, circling 4, 6, 8, 14 and 17, all from inside of 12 feet.
He had two scoring tries from inside of 15 feet at 16 and 18, but missed.
This is the Spaniard's third career runner-up in 26 events (21 pro), second this season in 14 starts (WGC-Match Play). It's also a 10th top 25 of the season, seventh top 10 and fourth top 3.
TOUR Rookies: 10
Top-10 finishes: 0
Ryan Blaum: The World No. 352 finished T24 on 1-under 279 (70-72-70-67). It’s his fourth top 25 of the season in 20 starts and second time he’s been low rookie – or tied low rookie – (T15, OHL Classic).
The Duke University alum (2006) nudges five spots to 108th in the FEC standings. His season/career best is T11 at the Sanderson Farms.
Top 10 in FEC standings (points):
1. Dustin Johnson (2,270)
2. Hideki Matsuyama (1,865)
3. Justin Thomas (1,855)
4. Jon Rahm (1,708)
5. Jordan Spieth (1,400); UP two
6. Pat Perez (1,381); DOWN one
7. Kevin Kisner (1,363); UP 10
8. Adam Hadwin (1,236); DOWN two
9. Brian Harman (1,132); UP one
10. Rickie Fowler (1,074); DOWN two
Note: No. 9 Brendan Steele (idle), dropped from No. 9 to No. 11 with 1,062 points.
16 winners were in their 20s
11 were in their 30s (Kisner: age: 30)
3 were in their 40s
19 of the 27 winners (minus Match Play and team-Zurich) have emerged out of the FINAL group on Sunday.
The eight outliers:
Kevin Kisner (DDI): Penultimate threesome; erased 3-shot deficit w/ 4-under 66; won by 1
Si Woo Kim (PLAYERS): Penultimate twosome; erased 2-shot deficit w/ 3-under 69; won by 3
Brian Harman (Wells Fargo): Third-to-last twosome: erased 2-shot deficit w/ 4-under 68; won by 1
Wesley Bryan (Heritage): Third-to-last twosome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 4-under 67; won by 1.
Marc Leishman (API): Penultimate twosome: erased 3-shot deficit w/ 3-under 69; won by 1.
Hideki Matsuyama (WMPO): Penultimate threesome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 5-under 66; won in playoff.
Jon Rahm (Farmers): Fifth-to-last threesome: erased 3-shot deficit w/ 7-under 65; won by 3.
Brendan Steele (Safeway): Third-to-last threesome: erased 4-shot deficit w/ 7-under 65; won by 1.
54 hole leaders/co-leaders (minus team-Zurich):
Converted: Hideki Matsuyama (WGC-HSBC), Mackenzie Hughes (RSM Classic), Justin Thomas (SBS TOC), Justin Thomas (Sony), Jordan Spieth (AT&T Pro-Am), Dustin Johnson (Genesis), Rickie Fowler (Honda), Adam Hadwin (Valspar), Sergio Garcia (Masters), Kevin Chappell (VTO)
Failed: Patton Kizzire (Safeway), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Luke List, Chris Kirk (Sanderson Farms), Lucas Glover (Shriners), Gary Woodland (OHL), Adam Hadwin (CareerBuilder), Patrick Rodgers, Brandt Snedeker (FIO), Byeong Hun An (WMPO), Justin Thomas (WGC-Mexico), Kevin Kisner, Charley Hoffman (API), Chris Stroud (PRO), Sung Kang (SHO), Justin Rose (co-Masters), Jason Dufner (Heritage), Patrick Reed (Wells Fargo), J.B. Holmes, Kyle Stanley (PLAYERS), James Hahn (Byron Nelson), Webb Simpson (DDI)
Not counting the Zurich (team), 54-hole leaders/co-leaders have failed to convert the last four. Most recent to get across the finish line: Kevin Chappell (VTO).
The TOUR departs Texas for the Buckeye State and this week’s Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village GC, where William McGirt is the defending champ.
McGirt, a 54-hole co-leader, shot bogey-free 1-under 71 to match Jon Curran on 15-under 273, and then eliminated him with par on the second hole of sudden death for his first (and lone) TOUR title.
Stay tuned to this space for all the latest player news and analysis as the TOUR readies for its 30th tournament of the season (of 47).