Simpson Beats Finau in Phoenix Playoff

Webb Simpson picked the right time to go on a birdie run.

Simpson finished with three straight birdies, the last from 11 feet in a playoff, and turned back Tony Finau to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale

“It was great coming down the last few holes and to birdie 18 twice felt great,” said Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion. “I hadn’t won for a while and it’s great to do it again, but Tony’s a great champion and he’s going to win again.

“I was two down with two to play, but I knew I had a chance, made those two putts and it was good enough to get into a playoff. I just repeated what I did when we played 18 the first time. This is a funny game and it’s not over until the last putt drops.”

Simpson, who claimed his sixth PGA Tour victory and first since the 2018 Players Championship, closed with a 2-under-par 69 by making birdies putts of two feet and 17 feet on the last two holes to catch Finau at 17-under 267.

Finau, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, shot 70 and missed an eight-foot birdie putt for the win on the final hole of regulation, and also couldn’t make a 19-footer for birdie in the playoff back at No. 18.

“It was crazy out there,” said Finau, who has finished second six times since winning. “I played well, but the course played tougher and it was hard to get the ball close. I had my chances, but it didn’t go my way.

“Webb did what he had to do, so hats off to him. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get it done, but my game’s in a good place and I’ll be back in a few weeks after taking time off, and I know I’ll get that next one soon.”

Fourth-ranked Justin Thomas birdied four of the last six holes to shoot 65 and finished three strokes back in a tie for third with Bubba Watson, who had four birdies on the back nine in a 66, and Nate Lashley, who birdied two of the last three for a 68.

Max Homa of Valencia and the University of California birdied three of the first five holes to close with a 68 and wound up four shots behind in a tie for sixth with Scott Piercy, who totaled 71, and Adam Long was one more down in solo eighth after a 71.

Third-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who played nearby at Arizona State, made a bogey on the last hole to finish at 70 and finished six strokes back in a tie for ninth with Byeong Hung An of South Korea and Cal (72), Branden Grace of South Africa (69), Billy Horschel (69), Daniel Berger (67), Mark Hubbard (72) and Hudson Swafford (74).

Ninth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State stumbled to a 74 and tied for 16th, while defending champion Rickie Fowler of Murrieta tied for 37th after a second straight 69.

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