AUDIO: Gary Woodland on 580 Sports Talk

Rickie Fowler was the 54-hole leader at the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open 2018

Rickie Fowler was the 54-hole leader at the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open 2018

Woodland began Sunday three shots back of Rickie Fowler's lead.

However, Reavie bogeyed the 18th hole in sudden death to hand Gary Woodland the title. He twisted open a cold bottle of water, took a sip, and put it back in his bag.

It was the third victory of the 33-year-old Woodland's PGA Tour career, but it had been almost five years since his previous title, at the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open.

But Reavie's bogey on the first and only playoff hole paved the way for Woodland's victory.

The win couldn't have come at a better time for Woodland, who past year endured trying times off the course when he and his wife announced that one of their expected twins died before birth.

Woodland finally grew emotional in the press tent after the tourney when discussing why he pointed to the sky.

"It's been a long five years, but it's been coming", Woodland said.

Jaxon was born 10 weeks premature last June and spent an extended period in the hospital.

Woodland won on the first playoff hole after shooting a 7-under 64 on the final round.


"The long hitters, when you drive it well, it's a different golf course", said Woodland's caddie, Brennan Little, who used to caddie for Mike Weir. He "shared some words" with the spectators who surround the par-three 16th on Thursday, when they told him what they thought after he had walked off the green with a double-bogey five. "I didn't think he was going to be there". He had desperately wanted to win it for Griffin Connell, a seven-year-old who described himself as Fowler's number one fan. His putter betrayed him when he contended.

Gary Woodland finally gets over the line after a painful year with playofff victory at the Phoenix. He chipped to about 2 feet and made a putt worth $496,000.

"That was tough", Woodland said, "just because I felt, one, obviously, to deal with it internally, but physically I was playing well". "But all in all I was very comfortable with all aspects of the game today".

He credits the improved short game to recent work with Pete Cowen and Brad Faxon. That is the difference between Woodland's $1,242,00 and second place money.

“For him to be here, its obviously a miracle, ” Woodland said. "Fortunately I got hurt my rookie year in 2009 and I missed a year, which really allowed me to kind of adjust and adapt to being out here". And I won right away in 2011, so expectations got high.

Woodland appears to have put the wrist injuries that dogged him behind him.

"It means a huge amount to me to win again", he said.

He appeared to want it too badly at times. Instead of giving up, he finished his round with three birdies in his last four holes to force the playoff. "That adds a lot of pressure".

Rahm, or Rahmbo, and Phil Mickelson lit up...

Latest News