Fowler beats Garcia, Kisner to win THE PLAYERS in playoff

Final Round — PGA Tour — THE PLAYERS Championship — TPC Sawgrass — Ponte Verde Beach, Florida — 

Rickie Fowler rallied with four birdies and an eagle late Sunday to finish 12-under.

He then outlasted Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner in a playoff to capture the 42nd playing of THE PLAYERS Championship. It marked Fowler’s second career PGA Tour victory and the biggest win of his career.

Fowler flagged his tee shot at the famed par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass — on the fourth playoff hole and first in sudden death — and calmly rolled in the birdie to win as a 50-to-1 pick heading into the tournament.

Garcia, who opened the final round two back, opened the front nine with a run to take the lead. He led by two at the turn only to have to make a birdie-birdie run late to get into the playoff. He shot 68 in the final round. Fowler was three back heading into Sunday, while Kisner was one off the pace.

Kisner, playing in his fourth season on tour, was denied his first PGA Tour victory. He would have been only the third player to hoist the trophy in his first appearance — Craig Perks last did it in 2002. Kisner, 31, had a putt at the 72nd hole to win it outright and lipped out. He also had a putt to win it in the playoff and just missed winning.

Bill Haas was T-4 along with Ben Martin at 11-under and shot back of the playoff. Kevin Na, a co-leader through 36 holes, logged a Top 10 with Rory McIlroy, Rory Sabbatini, John Senden and Jamie Donaldson.

Other Golf News:

  • Garcia became the first player to record five Top 5s at THE PLAYERS since it moved to TPC Sawgrass. Garcia won here in 2008 and challenged two years ago before falling short again Tiger Woods. Garcia was third last season finishing two back.
  • Fowler will crack the Top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking when the latest update is released. His final-round 67 tied for low round of the day alongside Padraig Harrington and Donaldson.
  • The PGA Tour heads to North Carolina next week for the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. J.B. Holmes is the defending champion.