PGA Tour

Blixt-Smith, Kisner-Brown set for Monday playoff

Kevin Kisner (pgatour.com)
Kevin Kisner (pgatour.com)

Los Angeles - Kevin Kisner chipped in for eagle on the 72nd hole on Sunday as he and team-mate Scott Brown forced a Monday playoff with Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Darkness was falling as Kisner's chip rolled across the green, hit the pin and dropped, with Australia's Smith responding with a birdie putt from inside two feet that kept him and Sweden's Blixt in the title hunt.

"I just told myself, get it there," Kisner said. "It's just one of those shots that you dream about."

Both teams finished regulation on 27-under par 261 after Sunday's better-ball round, in which Blixt and Smith shot 64 and Kisner and Brown carded a sizzling 60.

The tournament is the first US PGA Tour team event in 36 years. It featured two-man teams playing two better ball rounds and two alternate shot rounds.

Blixt and Smith - who is seeking a first US tour title - have barely put a foot wrong, finishing regulation play without a bogey.

They led after 36 and 54 holes, and withstood a furious charge by Kisner and Brown, who birdied 10 of their first 11 holes to grab the lead.

Six of those birdies came before play was halted for more than six hours as thunderstorms swept through.

With Blixt's birdie at 16 and Smith's at 17 the duo regained a one-shot lead.

It looked like that would be enough when Smith then gave himself a short birdie putt at 18.

But Kisner's chip-in means all four will return on Monday morning to settle things.

"Well, we knew we had to have it," Kisner said. "All I was trying to do was make sure I didn't leave it short, and I couldn't see much. I knew it was breaking a little right, and when it hit the flag, I said, 'Don't you come out of there.'

"I knew I was going to make it the whole time. No, I'm just kidding."

Blixt said he and Smith were confident in their games, so when Kisner and Brown mounted their charge "I wasn't really stressed out about it."

"Someone had to get hot in order to catch us today, and they did," Blixt said.

"We have another shot at it tomorrow," he added of the better ball playoff. "We just have to leave this behind and try to go out there and make birdie or eagle on 18 tomorrow and try and win this tournament."

Americans Kelly Kraft and Kevin Tway were third after combining for a 61 that left them on 265.

It was further stroke back to former world number one Jordan Spieth and fellow Texan Ryan Palmer, who carded a 64 for 266.

Leading scores after Sunday's better ball fourth round of the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a two-man team event with alternate shot play in rounds one and three and better ball play in rounds two and four.

Blixt/Smith and Kisner/Brown will return Monday for a playoff to decide the title as darkness halted play (USA unless noted):

261 - Jonas Blixt/Cameron Smith (SWE/AUS) 67-62-68-64, Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown 70-64-67-60

265 - Kelly Kraft/Kevin Tway 71-63-70-61

266 - Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer 66-66-70-64

269 - Jason Dufner/Patton Kizzire 69-64-73-63, Brooks Koepka/Chase Koepka 69-65-73-62, Bubba Watson/J.B. Holmes 73-64-68-64, Angel Cabrera/Julian Etulain (ARG/ARG) 70-63-71-65, Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley 70-64-74-61, Charley Hoffman/Nick Watney 67-65-69-68

270 - Xander Schauffele/Tag Ridings 68-64-73-65, Grayson Murray/Cameron Percy (USA/AUS) 70-67-71-62, Brian Stuard/Chris Stroud 68-64-71-67

271 - David Lingmerth/Danny Lee (SWE/NZL) 72-62-72-65, Steve Stricker/Jerry Kelly 68-66-72-65, Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay 68-62-75-66, Brian Harman/Johnson Wagner 71-64-72-64, Tyrone van Aswegen/Retief Goosen (RSA/RSA) 73-60-72-66, Freddie Jacobson/Willy Wilcox (SWE/USA) 71-63-73-64, Morgan Hoffmann/Camilo Villegas (USA/COL) 72-62-71-66, Michael Thompson/Tim Wilkinson (USA/NZL) 71-66-68-66

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