Chris Kirk defeats Eric Cole in Honda Classic playoff. Sepp Straka with a strong tournament while defending his title, Stephan Jäger in the top 15 of the PGA Tour.
In a thrilling final round with double the drama at 18, Chris Kirk bested Eric Cole to earn his fifth PGA Tour win at the Honda Classic . This is Kirk’s first win on the US tour in almost eight years after a period of retirement. For Sepp Straka, a strong tournament ends in the top 5, Stephan Jäger climbs into the top 15.
PGA Tour: Playoff decides
Chris Kirk went into the final round of the Honda Classic two shots ahead of Eric Cole. A top-class last round awaited the two Americans at the PGA National Resort. Cole had a hot putter on the difficult course, potted a lot of putts and fought his way to the front. After two lead changes, Kirk nevertheless went to the closing track with an advantage. There, however, the 37-year-old hit a rock face on the edge of the green and the ball landed in the water.
For his part, Cole also struggled to get the ball onto the green, had to settle for a par on the par 5 and ultimately benefited from his opponent’s bogey. The score of -14 after 72 holes meant not only a tournament record, but also the jump-off.
Again it was up to 18, this time Kirk used his experience. Although he had to submit, he played a sensational third shot to the flag and put his opponent under pressure. He landed in the green bunker and freed himself strongly from the sand, but his putt for a birdie lipped out
Chris Kirk celebrated his first victory on the PGA Tour in almost eight years (2,836 days) and his fifth overall. In 2019, the professional made his alcohol addiction and depression public and withdrew from the PGA Tour for around seven months. “Everything I’ve achieved in my life I owe to my sobriety,” Kirk said after his win. “I wouldn’t do that for a living anymore. I probably wouldn’t have the family I have now either. I was really close to losing everything that was important to me.”
Sepp Straka with a strong tournament
Last year, Sepp Straka celebrated his debut victory on the PGA Tour at the same place , but this time it wasn’t enough to attack at the very front. Nevertheless, the first and only PGA Tour winner from Austria played a strong tournament when defending his title. With a total of four birdies and two bogeys, Straka improved again on the final day. Above all, his finish with two birdies on the last three holes brought the 29-year-old a shared fifth place.
Stephan Jäger was the only German to survive the cut and delivered a strong weekend. After two laps still at T48, the Munich player advanced to T14 with two laps of 67 on the par 70 course. It’s his best result this year and second-best performance this season after a top-10 finish in November 2022.
Matthias Schwab struggled on the final day and came off the course with two-over-par. As a result, the Austrian lost a few places and ended the tournament on T60.