Hideki Matsuyama continues strong start to 2017, wins Phoenix Open
00:39, Feb 8, 2017
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- In-form Hideki Matsuyama won his second straight Phoenix Open title - and just like previous year he needed a fourth playoff hole to do it.
Matsuyama holed a 12-foot birdie putt at the fourth playoff hole, the par-four 17th at TPC Scottsdale, to edge former US Open champion Webb Simpson.
Matsuyama had his chances to seize the win in regulation, but it went to a playoff when his 20-foot putt at the 72nd hole stopped inches short.
Simpson, playing three groups ahead of Matsuyama, set the clubhouse mark at 17 under with the low final round of 64 that included an eagle and five birdies - three of which came in his last four holes.
"It was a struggle, especially that playoff, but I am really happy to win", Matsuyama, 24, told CBS Sports via an interpreter.
Jordan Spieth shot 67 and finished 12 under, as did first-round leader Matt Kuchar, who shot 70.
South African Louis Oosthuizen climbed the leaderboard with a bogey-free six under 65, to finish outright third at 16 under, which is his best result anywhere in the world since last year's WGC-Dell Match Play back in March.
This capped off another successful year in Phoenix for Matsuyama.
Simpson and Matsuyama each eagled the par-5 third, with Simpson hitting a 272-yard shot to 5 feet and Matsuyama a 254-yarder to 2.5 feet.
This year, the 24-year-old Japanese star almost won in it regulation, leaving his 19-foot birdie putt on the last an inch from the hole as Simpson, who birdied three of his last four holes to shoot 64, watched from the range.
"I feel like two weeks ago I was pretty lost", said Simpson, cheered on during the playoff by Bubba Watson, who has a house in the area and returned to the course to watch despite having missed the cut. The previous record was 618,365 set past year.
"To shoot 7 under on Sunday, when I know I had to do it, is a great feeling". This year a record 655,434 walked through the gates at TPC Scottsdale, including a single-day record of 204,906 on Saturday, which is a record attendance for the event.
But his challenge crumbled over the final nine holes with back-to-back bogeys at the 10th and 11th before he dropped more shots at the last two holes to finish in sixth place after a 73.
His putt headed for the center of the cup, but was one roll short.
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