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Chris Kirk Earns Honda Classic Play-Off Victory Over Eric Cole

Chris Kirk Earns Honda Classic Play-Off Victory Over Eric Cole

Chris Kirk claimed his first PGA TOUR title in eight years with an emotional play-off victory over fellow countryman Eric Cole at the Palm Beach Gardens in Florida.

Kirk began the final day with a two-shot lead however, after hitting a bogey on the 18th, the door was opened for Cole, who has never won on the PGA TOUR, as he caught up with Kirk after he recorded a three-under-par 67 to set up a play-off.

But it was Kirk who would come out on top after he birdied the 18th to achieve his fifth career PGA TOUR victory and first since the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in May 2015.

The 37-year-old took a break from playing on the PGA TOUR in 2019 to focus on dealing with alcholism and depression but made a propitious return to the winner’s circle with this triumph.

“I came really close to losing everything I cared about,” Kirk said.

“I just have so much to be thankful for. I’m so grateful for my sobriety. I’m so grateful for my family. I’m so grateful for everyone that supported me throughout the past three or four years, especially.”

Fellow American’s Tyler Duncan and Ryan Gerard finished in third and fourth respectively with a final-round 66 and a final-round 67 while five players tied for fifth at nine-under, including defending champion Sepp Straka, Ireland’s Shane Lowry and England’s Ben Taylor.

The next events on the PGA TOUR are the Puerto Rico Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, both taking place between March 2-5.