05.01.17 | Kevin W.
I think it is safe to say that the tour's first team event since 1981 was a success and was long overdue. The week started with an interesting tour of New Orleans cuisine lead by probably America's favorite foreign golfer Andrew "Beef" Johnson during Wednesday's ProAm.
Thursday saw a number of teams get into the 60s with the alternate shot format. Spieth/Palmer and Stanley/Ruffels leading the way at 66. Projected favorites Day/Fowler struggled mightily only getting to one under par on Thursday. That pair would not make it to the weekend even with a 68 on Friday being that they were seven strokes back from the cut at -12. Our two playoff teams had very different starts Blixt/Smith came out hot with a 67. While Kisner/Brown got off to a sluggish start with a 70 on Thursday.
Friday saw Blixt/Jonas continue to stay near the top of the leader board as the pair recorded a 62 with the better ball format. Kisner/Brown picked up the pace and headed into the weekend with a 64 on Friday's card.
After Saturday it looked like Blixt/Smith would away with the tournament having shot a 68 in the second round of alternate shot play the team had a four-stroke lead on second place. While Kisner/Brown won Saturday with a 67 they were still 13 spots off the lead with one day to play. It was much more likely that the Spieth/Palmer duo that was quietly sitting in third place (66-66-70) would make a run to challenge Blixt/Smith.
Sunday was a disaster though more than 2.5 inches of rain came down on the course and lighting prevented play for six and half hours, and nearly sent the entire field to a Monday finish. Kisner/Brown stay on their A-game though throughout it all and had the tournament' lowest score of the week at 60. It was good enough to move them up 13 spots and to tie with Blixt/Smith who had a 64. The tie though did not seem very likely as Kisner lined up the duo's third shot on the par 5 18th still in the fairway. He would have to hole out in nearly total darkness. The miraculous eagle shot set the stage for a T8 setup and a Monday playoff.
The playoff can be simply described by saying that these guys were nervous wrecks. They missed short birdie putts on every hole until finally, Smith was bale to roll this one in on 18.
It is a great first win for the young Aussie who now will be playing in his American hometown event in two weeks when we visit the tour's "5th Major". For Blixt, it is his third win on the PGA tour. It was a disappointing day though for the American's who had charged so hard on Sunday.
Ian Poulter got his tour card back after it was discovered by Brian Gay that there was an error with the FedEx points. That was the only good news for Poulter this weekend as he tied for second to last place at -13 playing with Geoff Ogilvy,
The Koepka's came in fifth place which got Brook's brother Chase into this week's event Wells Fargo event. It would appear that the better ending of the two that Brooks predicted came true, "we could kill each other or it could be an awesome week."
Lastly, great work to the entire staff and crew of volunteers who fought the tough weather this week. Their work was so good they got a rare shoutout from mainstream golf media.
Also if you have not already here today is the opening of the Rounds 4 Research auction. it is a great auction that funds turfgrass research making the game of golf better for everyone and the environment. Here is some more info from Jordan Spieth.