Robert Streb birdied the second extra hole to beat Brendon de Jonge and Will Mackenzie, the 54-hole co-leader who was eliminated after bogeying the first playoff hole, and capture his first PGA Tour title at the McGladrey Classic.
On the par-3 179-yard 17th, Streb knocked a dart to about four feet from the cup. He rolled in the birdie putt to defeat de Jonge, who had just barely missed his 20-footer to extend the battle.
On the first extra hole, Streb matched de Jonge’s par by making a knee-knocking three-footer. Those two final putts were the most nervous Streb had ever been in his life, even if it didn’t appear that way.
“I was pretty nervous over those short putts, but managed to work it out, and things went in my favor,” Streb told Golf Channel.
Afterward, de Jonge could say nothing but give credit where it was due.
“What can you do? he said. “(Streb) hit a great shot, and as I said, it’s nice for him to have a birdie. It’s a good way to win the tournament.”
Heading into the final round, Streb started with a five-shot deficit, but rallied to fire a seven-under 63. He finished over an hour and a half before the last groups and waited around to see if his score of 14-under would hold up.
When he started the day, he didn’t appear to be much of a threat, bogeying the first hole, but he followed that with five birdies on the front nine. Then, he made four consecutive birdies on nos. 14-17. He drained a 30-footer on the 17th to take a share of the lead, which ended up holding up as the winning score.
Along with capturing his maiden victory on the PGA Tour, Streb secures a spot in the Masters next April. He has never played in a major in his career.
Random notes on Streb:
*Streb wins at the age of 27 years, 6 months and 19 days, making him the third consecutive player in his 20s to win to start the season.
*Streb’s scoring breakdown for the week (including the playoff): Par-3s (-2), Par-4s (-7), Par-5s (-6)
*2014-15 PGA TOUR Season starts-made cuts-top-10s-wins: 3-3-2-1
*Career PGA TOUR starts-made cuts-top-10s-wins: 49-32-4-1
*Streb and Tommy Gainey are the only players to record their first TOUR win at the McGladrey Classic.
*Streb has made his first three cuts this season and is coming off a T10 last week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
*Streb is coming off a 71st place finish in the 2013-14 FedExCup standings. He was two FedExCup points shy of qualifying for the third Playoffs event at the BMW Championship. Streb had 966 points, while Jerry Kelly claimed the 70th and final spot with 968 points.
*Streb grew up playing hockey with St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.
*Streb’s previous best finish on TOUR was T2 at the 2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.