Vincent Norrman lipped in an 8-footer for bogey on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff, then scrambled for par on the same hole in sudden death on Sunday to beat Nathan Kimsey and win the Barbasol Championship, his first PGA Tour victory.
The 25-year-old Norrman, a tour rookie who played one year at Florida State after four years at Division II Georgia Southwestern, won in his 23rd career start. The Swede closed with a 66 at Keene Trace to finish at 22-under 266.
“I don’t think I can process this for a while. I’m lost for words,” Norrman said.
Norrman’s girlfriend, LPGA Tour player Frida Kinhult, surprised him after the victory. Kinhult finished tied for 36th at the Dana Open in Sylvania, Ohio, on Sunday, then traveled 300 miles south to greet Norrman.
Kimsey, a 30-year-old European tour player from England who made his PGA Tour debut in this co-sanctioned event, shot 64 to post 22 under and waited to see if it would be good enough. It didn’t look promising with Norrman and Trevor Cone at 23 under.
But Cone yanked his tee shot into tall grass well left of the green on the par-3 16th, leading to double bogey. That opened the door for Norrman, who hit fairway wood off the 18th tee and went well left into an awkward lie. He still had 57 yards for his third shot, missed the green from there and then chipped well past the hole. His bogey putt caught the lip on the right side and dropped.
In the playoff, Norrman again went left off the tee, missed the green to the right and chipped to 2 feet.
“I hit a really good tee shot, I thought,” Norrman said. “I had a pretty tough lie, downhill left to right usually comes out left on me and that kind of flared right. That was a pretty tricky chip as well and I just put a good strike on it and hit it up there close.”
Kimsey hit his tee shot into thick rough on the right, just missing the water, and failed to get up-and-down from a bunker well short of the green. He was seeking to become the first player to since Jim Benepe at the 1988 Western Open to win his PGA Tour debut.
“I feel like I barely missed a shot all day,” Kimsey said. “Holed a few nice putts and just kind of did a really good job of executing kind of the whole back nine and keep pushing really. Yeah, like I can’t complain with anything I did today.”
Cone shot 68 and finished one shot shy of the playoff alongside Adrien Saddier (66), a European tour player from France.
Veteran Lucas Glover, who led after the first and second rounds, finished alone in fifth at 20 under, his third consecutive top 10. The 43-year-old Glover shot 68 and extended his streak of rounds in the 60s to 12, all since switching to a long putter.
Cone led by one shot entering the final round but was soon chasing Norrman, who made six birdies on the front nine to turn in 6-under 30. Norrman’s even-par inward nine was good enough. He shot 66-67-67-66 over four days.
“It’s been a crazy week and obviously today, the first nine was almost flawless,” he said. “Yeah, how I finished the front nine I’m really proud of, then hung in there on the back. I’m happy to be sitting here.”
Marcus Kinhult, the older brother of Norrman’s girlfriend and his roommate for the week, closed with a 69 and tied for 14th.