Published May 03, 2016
Fort Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Kirk closed with a 4-under 66 on Sunday and came from behind to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational by one stroke.
Kirk finished at 12-under-par 268 at Colonial. This was his third win in the last three seasons, and fourth win overall on the PGA Tour.
"I was as nervous as I've ever been, for sure. Those up and downs the last couple holes, and especially making that putt on 18, was pretty sweet," said Kirk.
Kirk won the Ben Hogan award as the top collegiate golfer and that award is handed out annually at Colonial. He is the first winner of that award to win this event.
"I've always loved this golf course. This has been one of my tournaments on the tour since before I was on the tour, since I came here for the Ben Hogan Awards ceremony," Kirk explained. "I didn't really feel like I was swinging that great early on in the week, but somehow I was able to get it done."
Masters champion Jordan Spieth birdied the last hole for a 5-under 65 and a share of second place at minus-11. He was joined there by Jason Bohn (63) and Brandt Snedeker (67).
Pat Perez fired a 6-under 64 to end at 10-under-par 270. He shared fifth place at 10-under-par 270 with Ian Poulter (70), George McNeill (67), Kevin Kisner (67) and Adam Hadwin (66).
Kevin Na, who had at least a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds, struggled to a 2-over 72. He fell into an 8-way tie for 10th at minus-9.
There was a three-hour weather delay before the round as rain soaked the course overnight and into the early morning. With the wet course, players were allowed with lift, clean and place their golf balls through the green, meaning they could do so not only in the fairways, but also in the rough.
Na had the early advantage as he birdied the first and made it two in a row with a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 2. A poor drive at the third led to a bogey, which dropped him to 12-under and two clear of the field.
The 31-year-old maintained his lead with five pars in a row from the fourth. Poulter, who was paired with Na, dumped his approach in the water at the ninth. Na followed by doing the same.
Na walked off with a double-bogey to fall to minus-10. Poulter got up and down for bogey, and was also 10-under. They were one behind Bohn, who birdied six in a row from the second and moved to 11-under with a birdie at 12. However, Bohn played the final six holes at even-par.
Snedeker, who had four birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, joined Bohn in the lead with a 5-foot birdie putt at the 10th.
Bohn found a fairway bunker at the 15th and his second shot hit the lip and stayed in that trap. That led to a bogey, which dropped him one back. Snedeker poured in a 29-foot birdie putt from the fringe at 12 to move two clear of Spieth, Bohn, McNeill, Kirk, Na and Poulter.
After Bohn and Spieth inched within one of the lead, Kirk rolled in an 18- footer for birdie 12 to join them at 11-under. Snedeker 3-putted for bogey at 13 to fall into a 4-way tie for the lead. He parred out to end at 11-under.
"Pretty disappointed. I played great, just didn't make putts on the last three holes like your supposed to," Snedeker stated, who played alongside Kirk in the final round. "Chris played great. He did what he needed to do."
Spieth slipped two back with 3-putt bogey of his own at 16. He birdied the last for a share of second.
"The second round set me back. Trying to come back from pretty far down on the weekend was tough," Spieth said of his second-round 73. "I played the weekend in 8-under and stuck out these conditions. Yeah, I'm proud of it. Would have liked maybe to go back to 16, but other than that, really proud of the way we finished on 18, giving it a chance."
That left it to Kirk. The 30-year-old had an eagle, a birdie and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn at 10-under. He got within one with his birdie at the 12th.
After Snedeker fell back to the pack, Kirk drained a 5-foot birdie putt at 15 to grab the lead. He made routine pars at 16 and 17, but left himself seven feet for par at the last. Kirk poured that in to post 12-under, and when Poulter failed to hole his approach at No. 18, the title was Kirk's.
NOTES: Kirk earned $1.17 million for the win ... He has come from behind in the final round in each of his last two wins ... Last year's winner Adam Scott closed with a 70 to end tied for 24th at 6-under-par 274 ... Louis Oosthuizen withdrew before the final round with a neck injury ... The tour remains in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex next week with the AT&T Byron Nelson, where Brendon Todd won last year.