Kirk survives roller-coaster finish

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 10, 2013
Chris Kirk survived a wild back nine on Sunday to win the McGladrey Classic, thanks to one big mistake by Briny Baird that kept him winless in 365 starts on the PGA Tour. Kirk closed with a 4-under-par 66 for his second career win, though he received plenty of help from Baird. They were tied for the lead playing the 18th hole at Sea Island when Baird drove into a fairway bunker. He topped a 4-iron that went about 90 yards and into a hazard. Kirk only had to make par for a one-shot win over Baird (67) and Tim Clark (62). ''He was making 4 from where he was,'' Baird said. ''I didn't have a really good lie, but it was a do-able shot. My foot just slipped. It was a do-able shot. It really was. I didn't do a good job.'' The victory sends Kirk to the Masters for the first time. He had been living at Sea Island for the past six years until moving back to Atlanta. He had reason to exhale when it was over. Kirk made birdies on the 11th and 12th holes to build a two-shot lead, only to find himself trailing two holes later. Baird made a long birdie putt on the 13th, and Kirk hit into the hazard on the 14th and had to scramble for bogey. Baird looked like the winner as they walked toward the green on the par-5 15th. He had 40 feet for eagle, while Kirk pulled his approach into the water left of the green, and slammed his wedge into the turf when his chip settled 20 feet away. Baird ran his eagle attempt 4 feet by the cup and three-putted for par, while Kirk made his 20-foot par putt to stay one shot behind. Kirk caught him with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th, setting the stage for an 18th hole where the tournament was lost as much as it was won. It was a crushing loss for Baird, who has six runner-up finishes since the 41-year-old first joined the PGA Tour in 1999. Baird has talked for years about how he would rather have a consistent year of top finishes and a trip to the Tour Championship than one win and no other tournaments in contention. Even this week, he spoke about golf being more about making money than winning trophies. ''It's not all about winning,'' Baird said Sunday after his finish. ''I've said that, but this hurts. This really does. This is very disappointing.'' The only consolation was how he finished after his topped shot into the hazard. Baird made a 25-foot bogey putt to share second place with Clark. That gave him $484,000, which secures his card for the rest of the season. Baird was exempt on a major medical extension from having surgery on both shoulders at the end of 2012. The bogey putt was worth a difference of $220,000. Clark birdied his last three holes for a 62, the best score of the final round, and was on the practice range in case Kirk and Baird stumbled. Only one of them did. Kirk finished at 14-under 266. It was the fourth straight year since the McGladrey Classic began that it was decided by one shot. Scott Brown (66), Brian Gay (67) and John Senden (67) were two shots behind.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Luke Maye sends North Carolina to the Final Four with game-winning shot

Singer Darius Rucker cries as South Carolina clinches Final Four berth

Rockets take shot at Westbrook's MVP candidacy

New info shows just how much Las Vegas wants Raiders

Tomlin: Steelers are preparing for Roethlisberger's retirement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bills reporter: 'Only a matter of time' before GM Whaley is fired

Report: Patriots, Revis have not discussed possible reunion

Video of LaVar Ball playing basketball surfaces and he doesn't look great

Reporter: Giants 'would not go near' Adrian Peterson

Report: Browns unlikely to give Josh Gordon another chance

Popovich: Owners interfering with player rest is risky

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker