Blixt gets over the hump for 1st win
SAN MARTIN, Calif.
A week after not having enough to get the job done, Jonas Blixt used a 3-under-par 68 closing round to win his first PGA Tour title, outlasting Tim Petrovic and Jason Kokrak for a one-shot victory at the Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club.
Here are 5 Things to take away from the week:
1. A new Jonas
Sure, the teenie-bopper boy band (the Jonas Brothers, for those who aren't into pop culture) gets all the fame, but Jonas Blixt is, arguably, the most successful Jonas over the past 12 months. He two-putted from 40 feet to secure his first PGA Tour title Sunday evening in central California.
The win comes a week after Blixt held a share of the lead at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, only to fire a 1-under 70 to finish in third.
The win is Blixt's fifth top-10 of the season in only 19 starts.
"Last week, I didn't play very well in the final round. I got a little too cute with some shots and wasn't aggressive enough," said Blixt, who earned $900,000 with the victory and has made $2,199,401 on the season.
"So I told myself in the end of the day, just stay as aggressive as you can and put pressure on them. Feels pretty good when I get on the green and am competing with someone else. I'm pretty confident with my putter. So that's what I tried to do all day."
Blixt started the day birdie-birdie to get to 12 under overall, but he gave both back with bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4. He bogeyed No. 3 on the final three days of the tournament.
But Blixt says he wasn't fazed, especially considering he had gone 18 bogey-free holes that included eight birdies.
"Try not put too much pressure and emphasis on the bad stuff. I hit a couple bad shots there and I paid for it, but was still in it," said Blixt, a native of Sweden who attended Florida State. "So just keep on doing my best and stay aggressive and we'll see what happens."
Blixt won the title behind superior putting, finishing first in strokes gained putting at 2.468 and putts per round at 26.3. He also had 21 birdies (tied for first) and averaged 1.604 putts per green in regulation (second in the field).
2. Welcome back
Gary Woodland finished tied for ninth in his first appearance since the Wyndham Championship in August, shooting 66-68 on the weekend
A year after a six top-10 finishes, including a win at the Transitions Championship, and $3,448,591 in earnings, a wrist injury has sent Woodland into a tailspin in 2012.
He withdrew from the Masters after a third-round 85 — a round that he gutted out despite incredible pain and discomfort. He returned a month later at the Players Championship, only to miss the cut. In 12 starts since the Players, he had missed five cuts.
The finish at the Frys.com was his first top-10 finish of the season. He has earned only $583,338 this season.
3. Another close call
Vijay Singh has been the biggest flirt on the PGA Tour this season, getting close to a breakthrough victory, only to falter on Sunday to keep the soon-to-be 50-year-old from his first win since a three-victory 2008 season.
On Sunday, Singh moved to within a shot of the lead with a birdie at No. 5, but bogeys on Nos. 7, 11 and 12 left him with too much work to do to catch Blixt.
He did finish with birdies on Nos. 15, 17 and 18 to finish tied for fourth and pick up a $196,875 check.
Singh led the PGA Championship, only to falter over the weekend. He then had a chance to secure a spot in the Tour Championship after leading through three days at the BMW Championship. Another Sunday falter and he fell to eighth place, leaving himself outside the top 30.
Singh has five top-10 finishes this season, including four of his past eight tournaments.
4. All eyes on the top 125
Jeff Maggert entered the Frys.com Open in the coveted 125th spot on the PGA Tour's money list, but plenty changed over the weekend.
Maggert moved up to No. 119 after a $72,500 payday on Sunday, and Kevin Chappell and Gary Christian both dropped out of the top 125 by missing the cut. They were the only two to fall out of getting an automatic PGA Tour card.
Two players moved into the the top 125, with rookie Jason Kokrak jumping from No. 167 to No. 117 and Rod Pampling creeping up from No. 126 to No. 124.
Some big names remain outside the top 125, including Retief Goosen (No. 131), Justin Leonard (No. 138), John Daly (No. 141) and Camilo Villegas (No. 152).
Billy Mayfair now holds the No. 125 spot.
5. Short shots
Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts — who is trying to earn his PGA Tour card — cooled off after an opening 65 to finish tied for 35th after weekend rounds of 71-73. . . . Former UCLA standout Patrick Cantlay made the cut and finished tied for 47th behinds rounds of 67-70-68-75. . . . Luke Guthrie, who has earned his 2013 PGA Tour card behind stellar play on the Web.com Tour, missed the cut after rounds of 73-70. . . . Kyle Thompson has struggled mightily in 20 events on PGA Tour this season, missing 17 cuts (including the Frys.com) and withdrawing from another. He has made a total of $36,820 this season. . . . Patrick Reed shot a final-round 63, including two eagles, to finish tied for 11th.