Kevin Kisner survives record six-man playoff to win Wyndham Championship

Kevin Kisner

Kevin Kisner on Sunday after his birdie on the second hole of a playoff at the Wyndham Championship.

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Whew. 

Nine players — nine! — had at least a share of the final-round lead on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship. Six of them — six! — advanced to a playoff, tying the mark for most players to move on to extra holes. One of the players who did not, Russell Henley, had led at Sedgefield Country Club after each of the first three rounds, only to three-putt the final hole from just off the green and miss the playoff by a stroke. At the end of the regular season of the PGA Tour’s first-ever “super season,” the super-sized finale was perhaps fitting. 

In the end, it was Kevin Kisner who survived for his fourth PGA Tour victory, which also snapped his personal 0 for 5 record in playoffs. In Sunday’s extra holes, after all six players incredibly parred the 18th, the first hole of the playoff, all six returned to the 18th tee for the second extra hole, where Kisner then hit his approach to 4 feet and dropped the birdie putt for the victory. 

Afterward, in a bizarre scene that one CBS commentator noted looked like a wedding receiving line, Kisner was congratulated by the other five members of the playoff: Si Woo Kim, Kevin Na, Branden Grace, Adam Scott and Roger Sloan. Each player had finished at 15-under, one shot ahead of Henley, Webb Simpson and Kevin Streelman.    

After a day that also solidified the 125 players who will move on to next week’s start of the Tour’s three-week postseason, two players may look back at what might have been more than all the rest. 

Henley started the day with a three-shot lead, and he led by three at the start of the back nine. He then bogeyed four of his final eight holes, which included two three-putts: the one on 18 from just off the green, and one on 11 from 10 feet. Then on the first hole of the playoff, Scott, the most accomplished player among the sixsome, missed a 4-footer for birdie that would have won him his 15th Tour victory. 

Kisner took advantage. He birdied 16 and 17 in regulation to pull into the share of the lead, then prevailed in the end. It should no doubt earn him a look for the U.S. team at the Ryder Cup, which begins next month at Whistling Straits. 

Whew. 

The big takeaway 

Too bad this wasn’t on TV. (The start was moved up due to storms, and the live broadcast was online.) The PGA Tour regular season ends on a high note. 

How the lead changed hands (Buckle up!)  

— Russell Henley begins the final round at 15-under, and he leads by three shots over Tyler McCumber, and by four shots over Branden Grace, Roger Sloan, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na, Scott Piercy and Rory Sabbatini.

— Piercy and Na birdie the 415-yard, par-4 2nd and the 156-yard, par-3 3rd to move to 13-under, two shots back of Henley. 

— Henley bogeys the 2nd after missing the green on his approach, and he drops to 14-under, one shot ahead of Na, two strokes ahead of nine golfers, and five strokes ahead of five players. 

— Rose eagles the 528-yard, par-5 5th on a 36-foot putt to move into a share of the lead. He and Henley are at 14-under, one stroke ahead of Na, Kisner, Sloan and Kevin Streelman. Kisner and Sloan had birdied the 432-yard, par-4 4th to move to 13-under, while Streelman birdied the 5th. 

— Piercy birdies the 5th to move to 13-under, one back of Rose and Henley with Na, Kisner, Sloan and Streelman.

— Kisner, Sloan and Na all birdie the 5th to move into a five-way share of the lead with Henley and Rose. They are at 14-under, one shot ahead of Streelman and Piercy, and two strokes ahead of six players.  

— Rose bogeys the 221-yard, par-3 7th after missing the green on his tee shot to fall out of the lead. He’s at 13-under, one shot behind Henley, Kisner, Sloan and Na.

— Henley birdies the 5th after getting home in two to reclaim sole possession of the lead. He’s at 15-under, one shot ahead of Sloan, Kisner and Na, and two strokes in front of Streelman, Rose, Piercy and Tyler McCumber. 

— Piercy birdies the 7th to move to 14-under, one back of Henley with Sloan, Kisner and Na. 

— Kisner birdies the 411-yard, par-4 6th on a 10-foot putt to move into a share of the lead with Henley. They are at 15-under, one shot ahead of Piercy, Sloan and Na, and two strokes in front of Streelman, Rose, McCumber and Si Woo Kim. 

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— Streelman birdies the 374-yard, par-4 8th to move to 14-under, one back of Kisner and Henley with Piercy, Sloan and Na. 

— Kisner bogeys the 8th on a three-putt to fall out of the lead. Henley is at 15-under, one shot ahead of Kisner, Streelman, Piercy, Sloan and Na. Two back are Kim, Rose, Sabbatini and Grace. 

— Rose birdies the 434-yard, par-4 10th on a 41-foot putt to move to 14-under, one shot back of Henley. Six players are at 14-under: Rose, Streelman, Piercy, Sloan, Kisner and Na. Kim and Grace are at 13-under. 

— Henley birdies the 8th after hitting his approach to 4 feet, and he moves to 16-under, two shots ahead of Streelman, Rose, Piercy, Sloan, Kisner, Na and Grace. Kim and Webb Simpson are two back. (Simpson eagled the 469-yard, par-4 11th after holing out from 175 yards out.) 

— Streelman double-bogeys the 11th to fall to 12-under. 

— Na birdies the 10th on an 18-foot putt to move to 15-under and one shot behind Henley. Kim, Rose, Kisner, Sloan and Grace are two shots back of Henley. 

— Henley birdies the 10th on a 19-foot putt to move to 17-under and two shots ahead of Na. Kim, Rose, Sloan, Kisner and Grace are at 14-under, and six players are at 13-under. 

— Na bogeys the 11th to fall to 14-under with Kim, Rose, Sloan, Kisner and Grace. They are tied for second, three shots behind Henley.

— Rose birdies the 381-yard, par-4 13th to move to 15-under and two strokes behind Henley. Kim, Sloan, Kisner, Na and Grace are three shots out of the lead.   

— Na and Sloan bogey the 240-yard, par-3 12th to fall to 13-under. 

— Henley bogeys the 11th after three-putting from 10 feet to drop to 16-under and one shot ahead of Rose. Kim, Kisner and Grace are two shots out of the lead. Seven players are three strokes behind. 

— Rose bogeys the 516-yard, par-4 14th after hitting his drive into a fairway bunker. He falls to 14-under and two shots behind Henley with Kim, Kisner and Grace. 

— Henley bogeys the 12th after missing the green on his tee shot, and he falls to 15-under, one shot ahead of Rose, Kim and Kisner. Two strokes back are Grace, Na, Sloan, Piercy, Streelman, Simpson, Nick Taylor and Adam Scott. 

— Kim birdies the 388-yard, par-4 17th after hitting his approach to 3 feet, and he moves into a tie for the lead with Henley at 15 under. They are one shot ahead of Rose and Kisner. Eight players are two strokes out of the lead.

— Kisner bogeys the 14th after hitting into a bunker on his approach shot, and he falls two shots behind Henley and Kim. 

— Streelman birdies the 546-yard, par-5 15th after getting home in two, and he’s one shot back of Henley and Kim with Rose. Eight players are two back of Henley and Kim.

— Scott birdies the 15th after hitting his second shot to 18 feet, and he’s one shot back of Henley and Kim with Kim, Rose and Streelman. Six players are two strokes behind the leaders. 

— Henley bogeys the 14th after he misses the green on his approach, and he falls out of the lead. Kim leads at 15-under, one stroke ahead of Henley, Simpson, Streelman, Rose and Scott. Six players are two shots out of the lead.   

— Na eagles the 15th on a 13-foot putt, and he moves into a share of the lead with Kim at 15-under. Henley, Simpson, Streelman, Rose and Scott are one back. 

— Scott birdies the 160-yard, par-3 16th after hitting his tee shot to 5 feet, and he moves into a share of the lead with Na and Kim at 15-under. Henley, Simpson, Streelman and Rose are one back. 

— Streelman birdies the 17th after hitting his approach to 8 feet, and he moves into a share of the lead with Scott, Na and Kim at 15-under. Henley, Simpson and Rose are one back. Five players are two strokes out of the lead. 

 – Kisner and Sloan birdie the 16th to move one shot out of the lead with Henley, Simpson and Rose. Kim, Streelman, Scott and Na lead at 15-under. 

— Henley birdies the 15th after getting home in two — complete with a short sprint up the fairway — and he moves into a five-way share of the lead with Kim, Streelman, Scott and Na. Simpson, Rose, Sloan and Kisner are one shot back. 

— Streelman bogeys the 505-yard par-4 18th to fall out of the lead.

— Sloan birdies the 17th after hitting his approach to 5 feet, and he moves into a five-way share of the lead with Kim, Scott, Na and Henley at 15-under. Simpson, Streelman, Grace and Kisner are one back.   

— Kisner birdies the 17th after hitting his approach to 23 inches, and he moves into a six-way share of the lead with Sloan, Kim, Scott, Na and Henley at 15-under. Simpson, Streelman and Grace are one back. 

— Grace birdies the 18th on a 28-foot putt to move into a seven-way share of the lead with Kisner, Sloan, Kim, Scott, Na and Henley at 15-under.

— Henley misses a 3-foot putt on the 18th hole, after missing a 25-footer from just behind the green, to fall out of the tie. Grace, Kisner, Sloan, Kim, Scott and Na move onto a playoff, tying the record for most players to move on to extra holes. 

— The playoff begins with all six golfers playing the 18th. On their second shots, Sloan hits to 12 feet and Scott 4 feet, while the other four miss the green. Kisner nearly pitches in on his third shot. Sloan misses his birdie putt to the left and five players par the hole before Scott misses his 4-footer for birdie. All six players return to the 18th tee for the second playoff hole.  

— The second playoff hole is on 18. On their second shots, Kisner hits it closest, at 4 feet. Grace misses an 11-footer for birdie, then Kisner rolls his in to win his fourth PGA Tour tournament. 

The final word 

“It almost felt like we were playing at home in a hit and giggle coming down the fairway.” — Kisner to CBS’ Amanda Balionis after winning the six-man playoff. 

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Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor