Scottsdale, Arizona – It had been five years since Gary Woodland’s last victory, and much has happened since then. The least of which was anything in his golf career. Last spring, Woodland and his wife Gabby – who was pregnant with twins, lost one of the unborn babies. Woodland withdrew from the WGC Dell Match Play and released a statement with the news. Now ten months later, Gabby and their son Jaxson were on hand to surprise Daddy after he fired a final round 64 and defeated Chez Reavie (66) on the first hole of sudden death.
The victory was Woodland’s first since the 2013 Barracuda Championship. Looking back on last year, Woodland said,”It really took about four months, but I found a way to get to the Tour Championship, kind of battled through the end of the year and couldn’t wait for 2018 to start. For Jaxson to be here, it’s obviously a miracle, but I’m just so excited to share this with him and family, and hopefully it’s the start of something special.” After he tapped in for the win, Woodland pointed to the sky thinking of the baby girl that he and Gabby had lost with tears in his eyes, “Just wanted her to know that I still love her.”
Reavie, who made birdie on the 17th and 18th to reach the playoff, missed the green from 145 yards (with pitching wedge) on the first extra hole (the 18th) and failed to get his chip up and down. For the local guy who was a standard bearer at the WMPO while in high school, it was a thrill just to have a chance to win his hometown event “That was the dream man,” Reavie said. With the runner-up finish, Reavie moves up to 13th in the Fedex Cup standings.
Phil Mickelson heated up on the back nine Sunday making birdie on holes 15 thru 17 to ignite the crowd, but a double at the last ended any chance for the ASU legend (who finished four back at -14).