Kizzire hangs on, beats Rickie by 1 in Mexico

Patton Kizzire held the lead heading to the final round in search of his first PGA Tour victory and handled the situation like a veteran winner.

The 31-year-old Kizzire shot a bogey-free 4-under-par 67 and held off Rickie Fowler by one stroke on a 36-hole final day to win the rain-plagued OHL Classic at Mayakoba at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

“It was nerve-wracking, but I felt good,” said Kizzire, whose only previous pro victories came two years ago in the Utah Championship and the New Sentinel Open on the Tour. “I’ve been in tough spots before and was able to draw from that.

“Rickie made me work hard, but it means a lot. It’s pretty exciting and emotional. It gives me a lot of confidence that I can win bigger tournaments. It’s just awesome to get my first PGA Tour win here.”

Kizzire, who was at or near the top of the leaderboard all the way after opening with a 62, carded a 66 in the third round earlier Sunday and finished with a 72-hole total of 19-under 265 after making several clutch par putts.

Fowler, seeking his fifth PGA Tour victory, birdied the 16th and 17th holes in the final round to get close, but settled for a closing par while posting his third straight 67.

Si Woo Kim of South Korea, the reigning Players champion, had a 65 to finish four back in solo third, while Martin Piller eagled the fifth hole on his way to another 65 and was another stroke down in a tie for fourth with Charles Howell III, who recorded a bogey-free 66.

Ryan Moore totaled 68 to finish six back in a tie for sixth with Scott Brown, who had a 69, while John Oda recorded a 70 and was one more down in solo eighth.

Brian Stuard shot 65 and wound up six strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Emiliano Grillo (67) of Argentina, Abraham Ancer (68) of Mexico, Russell Knox of Scotland (68), and Alex Cejka (69) of Germany.

Defending champion Pat Perez of San Diego closed with a 66 to tie for 34th.

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