Daniel Nisbet had been in this situation before. Last year at the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Morobe Open, Nisbet won a three-hole aggregate playoff, and on Sunday at the Clearwater Bay Open, he was in another playoff—this time it was the sudden-death variety. Nisbet made it two for two in extra sessions when he rolled in a 10-foot eagle putt on the first playoff hole to defeat 54-hole leader Alex Kang to win the inaugural tournament.
The victory on the PGA Tour China was worth 216,000 yen (US $32,000) and moved Nisbet to No. 11 on the order of merit after beginning the week in 49th place. “That was probably the fastest my heart has ever been beating on a golf course,” Nisbet said of the playoff conducted on Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club’s 18th hole. “I’m just happy I put together a good score. It was good to put four rounds together back to back.”
On the par-5 hole, that Nisbet and Kang had just played moments earlier, Kang hit his second shot first, his ball landing short of the green and scooting into the rough on the left. He faced an eight-metre chip. Nisbet stuck his approach close and below the hole to the delight of the assembled crowd. Kang never had a chance to putt for birdie from two metres when Nisbet rolled in his eagle putt, a fist pump following.
Nisbet’s 65-64, 11-under finish over the final 36 holes was the best in the field, and he needed every one of those strokes to make up the five-shot deficit he faced when the day began. Nisbet was tied for fourth, five shots behind Kang. “Alex was playing really well. I thought if I shot 7-under (63) I’d have a chance. And I had an eagle putt on the 72nd hole. That was crucial,” Nisbet said, settling instead for a 64.