ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Georgia (AP) – Robert Streb made an 8-foot putt pair to stay alive in a playoff and ended up on the second extra hole on Sunday with a pitch wedge that came just inches in, giving him a win about Kevin Kisner in The RSM Classic.
Streb won a second time on the PGA TOUR, his other title also came in a playoff on Sea Island six years ago.
He recovered from a deficit of five shots in 2014. This time, he lost the advantage of three shots to a 12-foot 6-iron on par 3 on hole 17 to a birdie that allowed him to close with a 2-under 68 and force extra holes.
Kisner, whose first of three PGA TOUR titles came to Sea Island in 2015, closed with 63.
They finished with 19 sub 263, a chance ahead of Cameron Tringale (62).
Kisner took advantage of hole 18 in the Seaside field for the first hole in the playoff. His approach took a good jump and left him with a 15-foot birdie shot, while Streb drove in the bunker, failed to reach the green and his shot about 30 meters away was still 2.5 meters.
Kisner missed and Streb rolled on his opening shot. They went back to the 18th again, and Streb had a flyer lying on the bumpy left of the fairway. He went with the 158-yard launch wedge waiting for it to come out warm, and left. It was almost perfect, the ball landed smoothly and rolled just beyond the left edge of the glass.
Kisner’s tee shot hit the rough Bermuda to the right of the fairway, and his approach went over the green. Knowing that his chip had to go in, he ran about 20 feet and pierced it to a pointless pair with Streb inches away.
The victory came at the right time for Streb, who had to return to the Korn Ferry Tour finals over a year ago just to regain full tour status. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted golf for three months, no one has lost its current status. Streb missed the PGA TOUR postseason again, but kept his card.
He now has a two-year exemption until the end of August 2023, moved to 8th place in the FedExCup ranking and returns to the Masters in April.
Streb also extended a trend in his new PGA TOUR season, which began in September, joining other players who ended long drought victories. Stewart Cink won the Safeway Open for his first win in 11 years. Martin Laird finished seven years without winning in Las Vegas. Brian Gay won in Bermuda, his first victory in more than seven years.
In 11 tournaments of the new season, Streb is the fifth winner to be out of the top 300 in the world.
Kisner did well to make the playoff after starting five shots behind. He made five birdies in 10 holes, including a thick coarse pitch in the middle of a sand waste area for tap-in range in par 5 seventh. He caught Streb with a 6-foot birdie at hole 13 and stayed in the game with an 18-foot putt pair from the edge of the next hole.
Streb missed a pair of 5 feet on the back nine, one for pair and one for birdie on par 5 15, but he made the main shots when needed. One of them was his 6 iron on the 17th. The shot he will remember is the launch wedge he almost hit and gave him the victory.