Kevin Kisner birdied the first three holes on the back nine to take the lead and held on to win at Colonial despite a Sunday charge by defending champion Jordan Spieth.
Kisner had a three-stroke lead at the turn on the final day of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March before finishing a stroke behind Marc Leishman. Kisner made a nearly 95-foot chip-in for eagle to get him and fellow Aiken, South Carolina, resident Scott Brown into playoff at the Zurich Classic’s new team format before losing on the fourth playoff hole to duo of Australia’s Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt of Sweden.
After a 14-foot birdie at the 420-yard 15th hole at Hogan’s Alley, Kisner had a two-stroke lead. That at the same hole where Spieth, playing two groups ahead of him, punctuated an 11-foot birdie putt with a fist pump.
Spieth, who had missed consecutive cuts at The Players Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson, was trying to become the only player other than Ben Hogan to win consecutive Colonials. Hogan won five times, including the first two in 1946 and 1947, along with consecutive wins again in 1952 and 1953.
O’Hair and Rahm, who the last two years won the Ben Hogan Award as the nation’s top college player, both shot 66.
Adam Hadwin (70) of Abbotsford, B.C., was the low Canadian at 4 over. Graham DeLaet (71) of Weyburn, Sask., was 5 over, Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor (71) was 6 over and David Hearn (73) of Brantford, Ont., was 10 over.
There were several near misses for Spieth, who started the day five strokes behind 54-hole leader Webb Simpson.
Spieth had birdies on the first two holes before a nearly 20-footer lipped out at the 453-yard No. 3 hole. He also just missed a 12-footer at No. 9, and a 25-footer at the 446-yard 12th hole rolled over the left edge of the cup.
Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open winner, was the 54-hole leader by two strokes, but started the final round with an unusual bogey at the par-5 first hole. His only birdie came at No. 9, and he bogeyed the 18th when he drove into the left rough after Kisner had already posted his final putt. Simpson had a 71 to finish fifth at 8 under.