ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Robert Streb made the last of his 10 birdies on the second extra hole, winning a three-way playoff in the McGladrey Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory.
Streb rallied from a 5-shot deficit in the final round with a 7-under 63. He waited 90 minutes to see if anyone could catch him, and then outlasted Will MacKenzie and Brendon de Jonge in the playoff at Sea Island.
The victory sends Streb to the Masters in April. The 27-year-old from Oklahoma has never played in any major.
“Very thrilled,” he said when he walked off the 17th green.
Streb never felt more pressure than over his final two putts. On the first playoff hole at No. 18, Streb ran his 35-foot birdie putt about 4 feet by the hole and had to make that one to stay alive. MacKenzie was eliminated with a bogey from the bunker.
De Jonge hit safely on the green at the par-3 17th, and Streb followed with an 8-iron that covered the flag and plopped down about 4 feet behind the cup.
“I was pretty nervous over those short putts, but managed to work it out, and things went in my favor,” Streb said.
On his bio, Streb mentioned two items on his bucket list were going to an Oklahoma-Texas game and playing at Augusta National. Streb grew up at Oak Tree just north of Oklahoma City and wound up playing at Kansas State. Even so, it would have seemed a lot easier getting a ticket to the Red River Rivalry than earning a spot at the Masters.
The latter wasn’t easy, either.
Streb started the final round five shots out of the lead, and he didn’t seem like much of a threat when he took bogey from a fairway bunker on the opening hole. He wound up making nine birdies, including four straight late in the round to get in the playoff. He made a pair of short putts on the 14th and 15th holes, made a 20-foot putt on the 16th and took a share of the lead when he made a 30-foot birdie on the par-3 17th.
The 63 was his best round on the PGA Tour by 2 shots.
Streb was the first to finish at 14-under 266, and it held up for the second playoff in the McGladrey Classic.
De Jonge opened with three straight birdies to get in the hunt, and rolled in two more on the 10th and 12th holes. He missed a 10-foot birdie chance on the par-5 15th, and a 20-foot birdie chance on the final hole. He closed with a 65.
“I didn’t birdie the par 5 in regulation. I had a very easy bunker shot, but other than that, I didn’t leave much out there,” de Jonge said. “What can you do? He 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.”
MacKenzie went from having the best chance to having to scramble. He made his first bogey of the final round when he three-putted from 80 feet on the 16th to fall 1 shot behind. He followed with a tee shot into 5 feet for birdie on the 17th. He came up short from the rough on the 18th and faced an 80-foot putt from short of the green. He lagged that perfectly to finish with a par and a 68.
Andrew Svoboda, who started the final round tied for the lead with MacKenzie, twice had the outright lead with birdies on the front nine and he remained tied after 10 holes. He made back-to-back bogeys, and then dropped another shot on the 14th and never caught up. Svoboda closed with a 71 and tied for eighth.
Defending champion Chris Kirk closed with a 67 and was in the group that finished 2 shots behind in a tie for fourth. Kevin Chappell went out in 30 to get within 1 shot of the lead, only to par every hole on the back nine for a 65 to finish 3 shots back.