The former standout in US college and Web.Com Tour golf held off a strong late bid from Fowler to win the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa Del Carmen.
Now into his third season on the PGA Tour, Kizzire, 31, had yet to win but recent good finishes and a great start to the week when recording a round of 62 on Thursday had him poised for the breakthrough and so it would be.
Not that it would be easy. He led by three with three holes to play but birdies at the 16th and 17th by Fowler closed the gap to just one although a par at the last was enough to see him home.
“It was pretty nerve racking,” Kizzire told on-course commentator Jerry Foltz immediately after his win. “But I have been in tough spots before and I drew from that and all my experiences. It means a lot. I am pretty excited and emotional right now and I was glad to get it done – Rickie made me work hard.”
Kizzire nearly holes his approach at the par-four 11th during the final round.
Kizzire won twice on the Web.Com Tour in 2015 and finished runner-up on two other occasions to finish that season as the second-highest single season money winner ever on the Web.Com Tour.
He is somewhat of a late bloomer having not reached the PGA Tour until the age of 29 but he is rapidly making up for lost time. Kizzire has already been twice runner-up on the PGA Tour and a 4th place finish in Las Vegas recently indicated he was on track for a maiden victory.
Interestingly, next week’s PGA Tour event is in Kizzire’s home town of Sea Island in Georgia which may add to the possibility of back-to-back wins.
Si Woo Kim finished three shots behind Fowler and alone in 3rd position with Charles Howell III and Martin Piller were one shot further back in a share of 4th.
It was a very ordinary week for the Australians with Matt Jones doing the best of them finishing T50th.
Geoff Ogilvy and Greg Chalmers were 68th and Aaron Baddeley 74th.
INDIA'S GOLF STAR: ANIRBAN LAHIRI
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