Smylie Kaufman Nabs First PGA Tour Win at Shriners
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Smylie Kaufman won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday in his fifth PGA Tour start, shooting a 10-under 61 and waiting more than two hours while rival after rival fell short.
Kaufman played the final 11 holes in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies. He set up the eagle with a 3-wood drive to 15 feet on the par-4 15th and closed with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to post 16-under 268 at TPC Summerlin.
Kevin Na, third-round leader Brett Stegmaier, Patton Kizzire, Cameron Tringale, Jason Bohn and Alex Cejka tied for second, a stroke back.
Na, coming off playoff loss last week to Emiliano Grillo in the season-opening event in Napa, California, made a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th to tie for the lead, but bogeyed the par-3 17th after flubbing a chip, and missed a 15-foot birdie try on 18.
Stegmaier had the last chance to force a playoff, but hit his approach on 18 into the left fringe and came up short on a 20-foot birdie try.
Kaufman became the second straight rookie winner on the tour, earning $1,152,000 and a spot in the Masters. The 23-year-old former LSU player from Birmingham, Alabama, began the year with no tour status, won a Web.com Tour event in May and earned a PGA Tour card with a high finish on the money list.
Na, the 2011 Las Vegas winner for his lone PGA Tour title, finished with a 67. Stegmaier shot 69, Kizzire 63, and Tringale, Bohn and Cejka 66.
William McGirt and Chad Campbell tied for eighth at 14 under. McGirt had a 62, going 9 under in a nine-hole stretch that ended with an eagle on the par-5 16th. Campbell had a 68.
Rickie Fowler finished with a 68 to tie for 25th with Canada’s David Hearn and Nick Taylor at 9 under. Jimmy Walker, playing alongside Na in the second-to-last group, had a 78 to fall into a tie for 50th at 4 under.