Furyk wins Heritage golf in Kisner playoff

Jim Furyk won his first PGA Tour event in five years, making birdies on both playoff holes to outlast Kevin Kisner on Sunday at the RBC Heritage golf tournament in South Carolina.

Furyk was ahead by a stroke when Kisner birdied the 72nd hole to force the playoff, the fourth in the last six tournaments at Harbour Town Golf Links.

On the first extra hole, Kisner rolled in a second straight birdie putt on the 18th. But Furyk, the 2003 US Open champion, answered with a birdie to keep the playoff going.

After Kisner missed his birdie try on 17, Furyk sank a four-metre putt for his 17th career PGA Tour win. He dropped his putter and punched the air in celebration.

Furyk had shot a final-round 63 and Kisner a 64, leaving them both at 18-under-par 266. Third-round leader Troy Merritt was at 16 under after a 69. Defending champion Matt Kuchar (68) was at 14 under and Masters winner Jordan Spieth (70) was eight shots back.

It was an odd tournament for Furyk, who had come close to breaking his victory drought so many times – he was 0-9 holding 54-hole leads since his last victory.

He looked as if he’d get left behind early, making 18 pars in the first round to fall five shots back. Furyk found his game on Friday with eight birdies on the way to a 64. He had a 68 on Saturday, yet knew he needed to fire himself as he did on Friday to have a chance.

He had six birdies on his first nine holes, including a 48-footer on the par-4 eighth that moved him in front. A bogey on the 11th dropped Furyk into a four-way tie for first, but he responded with birdies on three of the next four holes and looked as if he’d have an easy time.

Instead, Kisner matched Furyk’s on-target irons to chase him down on the back nine. He had birdies on the 14th and 15th to move within a stroke and stuck his approach on the signature lighthouse hole at within two-metres for a tying birdie.

Spieth closed an amazing five-tournament stretch. He won the Valspar Championship a month ago and followed that with seconds at the Texas and Houston opens before matching Tigers Woods’ record of 18 under at Augusta National. For Spieth, 19 of his past 20 rounds have been under par.

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