The 33-year-old, whose last victory came at the Reno Tahoe Open in 2013, produced the best round of the day at TPC Scottsdale (64) to move from three shots off the overnight lead held by Rickie Fowler and into the lead, three late birdies edging him clear of the field when he finished his round.
Behind him on the golf course, however, was the man who had been in or near the lead for much of the week, Reavie.
It had been nearly 10 years since Reavie’s first and only win to date on the PGA Tour when successful at the 2008 Canadian Open but when he birdied his final two holes including one from 25 feet at the last he had joined Woodland at 18 under par and the door was open for win number two.
The playoff however would last only one hole, Reavie unable to get up and down at the first playoff hole after missing the green with a short iron from the fairway.
Woodland, typically one of the longer hitters on the PGA Tour, has spent a lot of time recently working on his short game with noted golf coach Pete Cowan and he paid tribute to that work after his round. The American had played well in his first two outings of the year in Hawaii and at Torrey Pines last week and so the signs were there for a good week.
The WM Phoenix Open had not necessarily been a happy hunting ground for Woodland in recent times, missing two of his last three cuts but clearly his improving form has carried over to a layout which has not always been good to him.
Ollie Schniederjans and Brendan Steele tied for third three shots out of the playoff while Phil Mickelson gave his fans plenty to get excited about before a double bogey at the last saw him finish 5th, a position he shared with Chesson Hadley, Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau.
Third round leader Fowler recorded a final round of 73 to fall 10 places and finish 11th.
Aaron Baddeley, who won this event in 2007, finished as the leading Australian in 26th position, Marc Leishman was 31st and Cameron Smith 48th.
The PGA Tour now moves back to California for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.
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