LOS ANGELES: Kevin Kisner finally broke through on Sunday (Monday in Manila) for his first victory since 2015, holding off a strong field at the PGA Tour’s Colonial with a closing round of four-under 66.
Kisner second career victory contrasted sharply with his first at the 2015 RSM Classic which he won by a whopping six shots.
He finished 72 holes at 10-under 270 just one stroke ahead defending champion Jordan Spieth, Spaniard Jon Rahm and American Sean O’Hair.
“I am just honored be the champion and to be able to come back every year see my name on the champions wall will be something special,” Kisner said. “I am happy to win any tournament but especially here.”
Spieth shot one of the best scores of the day, a bogey-free five-under 65, while O’Hair and Rahm both shot 66 to finish in a three-way tie for second.
Second- and third-round leader Webb Simpson (71) bogeyed the 18th hole to finish alone in fifth and Danny Lee of New Zealand (70) ended up three shots adrift and alone in sixth place.
The overcast and humid conditions in the fourth round at the Colonial Country Club course were the most conducive all week to low scores.
Kisner, runner up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this year, birdied the 10th hole and the 11th to tie Simpson for the top spot and took the lead outright with a birdie on the par-four 12th.
He then rolled in a birdie at No. 15 to extend his lead to two shots. That was halved by a bogey on the 16th hole, but his up and down for par at the 18th green clinched the win.
Two-time major winner Spieth was pleased with his performance this week after coming off two consecutive missed cuts, the first time that has happened in two years.
This was his fourth start in the tournament as he also tied for second two years ago.
After birdies on the par-four 10th and the par-four 15th, Spieth was able to put some pressure on the leaders.
“Today was a fun round,” said Texas native Spieth. “I felt those (competitive) nerves and I was just a couple of lipouts away from having a chance.”
Tour rookie Rahm, who graduated from Arizona State University only a year ago and has already risen to No. 12 in the world, was making his Colonial debut.
He finished with five birdies and just one bogey on Sunday.
Steve Stricker (63), Brian Harman (65) and Scott Piercy (68) finished tied for seventh four shots behind Kisner.