Danny Lee wins LIV Golf Tucson with birdie in a playoff
MARANA, Ariz. (AP) Danny Lee birdied his final two holes for a 2-under 69 and then won LIV Golf Tucson on the second hole of a four-man playoff on Sunday by making a 25-foot birdie putt from off the 18th green for his first win in nearly eight years.
It was the second playoff in LIV Golf since the Saudi-funded series began last year. Dustin Johnson won the playoff outside Boston last year.
Lee finished at 9-under 275 and got into the playoff with Carlos Ortiz (65), Brendan Steele (70) and Louis Oosthuizen (70). Oosthuizen bogeyed the par-5 17th to fall one behind, only to birdie the 18th to join the playoff.
Lee nearly squandered a great chance to win on the first playoff hole when he put his approach 5 feet from the hole on No. 18 on the first extra hole. He pushed it to the right.
Ortiz was eliminated after the first extra hole when he went long off the 18th green, chipped to 6 feet and missed the par putt.
Going back to the 18th hole, Lee again looked as though he wasted a good opportunity when his approach from the fairway missed the green to the right, leaving him a tough spot with the pin all the way to the right side of the green.
Oosthuizen and Steele both missed long birdie putts. Lee chose to use putter, even though he was some 10 feet off the green. He gave it a rap and it was going fast when it rattled against the pin and disappeared for the winner.
“I haven't won since 2015. I thought winning just not my thing. Today has changed that,” said Lee, who signed with LIV Golf in February when he was No. 267 in the world.
His last victory was the Greenbrier Classic, which no longer is a PGA Tour event but will be part of the LIV Golf schedule this year.
“It's good to see I'm capable of playing good golf again,” Lee said.
Ortiz led the Fireballs to the team victory, winning handily over the 4 Aces with Lee's Ironheads team coming in third.
Charles Howell III, who won LIV Golf's season opener at Mayakoba, had the lead after a good start. But he took a triple bogey on the par-3 eighth, and then failed to birdie the par-5 17th. He shot a 72 and finished one shot out of the playoff.
Lee won $4 million from the $20 million purse for individual play, which was roughly as much as he made the last four seasons combined on the PGA Tour.
LIV Golf now takes a week off before resuming at a new tournament in Orlando, Florida, the weekend before the Masters.
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Updated March 19, 2023