A short par putt at the final hole was all American Kevin Kisner needed to round out a four under 66 and claim the Dean & Deluca Invitational by two strokes from countrymen Webb Simpson.
Simpson lead after 54 holes but the former US Open winner never got it going on the final day after opening his round with a bogey at the par-5 1st hole.
With Simpson faltering Jordan Spieth and Jon Rahm both begun to charge, throwing their names into contention, but it was the ever steady Kisner who took what appeared to be a commanding two-shot lead after following three consecutive birdies to start his back-nine with a birdie at the par-4 15th hole to get to 11-under-par for the tournament.
“That kind of gets those juices flowing to lead you those last eight holes. I was able to hit two great iron shots on the next two, and that put me in the driver's seat,” Kisner said of his hot start to the back-nine.
Spieth, playing two groups ahead of Kisner and with his hometown crowd pushing him on could only manage pars on his final three holes to finish at 9-under par, signing for a bogey free final round 65 to earn his first cheque in three weeks having missed his previous two cuts.
Playing alongside a surging Rahm who appeared to be attempting to overpower the historic Colonial layout, Kisner seemed to let nerves get the better of him as he made bogey at the par-3 16th hole, and the 33-year-old must have felt déjà vu coming on, after already having finished runner-up twice in 2017.
The Spaniard then made a miraculous recovery and birdie after being blocked out by the trees on the right side of 17 to put pressure on Kisner, who made par at the penultimate hole to go to the final tee with a one shot lead.
After missing the fairway well right and hitting his approach long, Kisner lagged a putt from off the green to 5ft seemingly securing his par at the final hole.
“I knew with putter I was going to have no worse than ten feet for par,” Kisner said of taking the flat stick from off the green at the last. “I've been putting well all week. I just wanted to give myself an opportunity. I left it in the perfect spot straight in, straight up the hill.”
With a chance to be get to 10-under and again apply pressure to Kisner and force him to make his putt for a play-off, Rahm missed his birdie putt on the low side, joining Spieth and Sean O’Hair in a tie for 2nd at 9-under. Rahm was left to rue the missed opportunity after his round. Telling the media of his missed birdie attempt, “I pulled it. I looked up and I pulled it.”
Kisner then calmly rolled in his par putt to finish at 10-under and wait for his only remaining challenger Simpson to finish. Needing to hole his greenside bunker shot for birdie from a difficult lie to force a play-off, Simpson bookended his round with his second bogey of the day, handing Kisner his second PGA Tour victory, the winner’s tartan jacket and a place on the Wall of Champions at Hogan’s Alley.
“I’m just honoured to be the champion here and to come back every year and see my name on that wall is going to be something special,” Kisner said of securing victory at the historic Colonial Country Club.
Victorian Marc Leishman and Tour rookie Curtis Luck were the best of the Australians finishing tied 34th at one over.