A week after his third-place finish to at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Sweden’s Jonas Blixt posted a final-round, 3-under 68 to overcome a two-stroke deficit Sunday and claim his first PGA TOUR title.
With the win, Blixt became the third rookie to win on TOUR last year, joining John Huh (OHL Classic at Mayakoba) and Ted Potter, Jr. (The Greenbrier Classic).
He also became the eighth Swedish player to win on TOUR, joining Jesper Parnevik, Carl Pettersson, Gabriel Hjertstedt, Daniel Chopra, Henrik Stenson, Mathias Gronberg and Richard S. Johnson.
Blixt became the second consecutive player to make the Frys.com Open his first PGA TOUR title, joining 2012 champion Bryce Molder.
He also went the entire week without a 3-putt, extending the PGA TOUR’s longest active streak without a 3-putt to 243 holes, dating to the third round of The Barclays.
More on Jonas Blixt and the Frys.com Open
In 2013, Blixt wasted little time finding the winner’s circle for a second time. At The Greenbrier Classic, just nine months after his win at CordeValle GC, Blixt fired a third-consecutive, 3-under 67 in the final round to win by two strokes over three others.
Four starts later, he finished fourth at the PGA Championship for his first top-10 finish in his second major championship start.
On the season, Blixt finished 52nd in the final FedExCup standings.
Frys.com Open and the FedExCup
The TOUR embarks this week at the Frys.com Open on its new wraparound schedule that bridges two years with 45 events over 43 weeks.
The 2013-14 PGA TOUR Season kicks off with the Frys.com Open and includes two more domestic and three international tournaments, with all fall events awarding FedExCup points for the first time.
The schedule then resumes in January with the traditional swing through Hawaii before moving to the West Coast.
The FedExCup Playoffs once again features four events and concludes in September of 2014 with the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and the crowning of the FedExCup champion.
A look at the field
Nine winners of PGA TOUR events in 2013: Brian Gay (Humana Challenge), John Merrick (Northern Trust Open), Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open), Billy Horschel (Zurich Classic of New Orleans), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship), Seung-Yul-Noh (HP Byron Nelson Championship), Jonas Blixt (The Greenbrier Classic), Gary Woodland (Reno-Tahoe Open) and Patrick Reed (Wyndham Championship).
21-year-old Hideki Matsuyama, who played for the International Team last week at The Presidents Cup, makes his PGA TOUR member debut at the Frys.com Open. Matsuyama turned professional in 2013 and finished inside the top 10 at both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship en route to earning his PGA TOUR card via the non-member FedExCup points list. In addition to Matsuyama, U.S. Assistant Captain Davis Love III and International Team members Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman will also play the Frys.com Open.
Sponsor exemptions include former University of California All-America Max Homa and former University of Alabama All-America Justin Thomas. Both players make their PGA TOUR professional debuts. Brooks Koepka, a former Florida State All-America who plays on the European Tour, will make his third professional PGA TOUR start.
Several players on Major Medical Extensions return to the PGA TOUR at the Frys.com Open, including two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen. Goosen, who has battled back problems the last few years, has not played on TOUR since the 2013 PLAYERS Championship. Others making comebacks in the Frys.com Open field include Sacramento native Spencer Levin (left thumb) and Paul Goydos (left wrist).
All six former Frys.com Open champions are in the field: Jonas Blixt (2012), Bryce Molder (2011), Rocco Mediate (2010), Troy Matteson (2009), Cameron Beckman (2008) and Mike Weir (2007).
Graduates of the Web.com Tour that will make their season debut include the Web.com Tour Regular Season money-leader Michael Putnam and Web.com Tour Finals money-leader John Peterson.
Together, anything’s possible
Making a positive impact on the communities where PGA TOUR tournaments are held and players live has become an even larger focus in the golf organization’s charitable mission with the Together, anything’s possible campaign. The charitable effort was celebrated in late 2005 when the PGA TOUR and its tournaments reached the “Drive to a Billion” milestone. That cumulative effect, since the first donation in 1938, reached more than $1.86 billion at the beginning of 2013—including more than $1 billion in the last 15 years—and is the cornerstone of the Together, anything’s possible campaign. The forecast is for the second billion-dollar mark to be reached in late 2013 or early in 2014 and is being celebrated in the TOUR’s “$2 Billion & Beyond” campaign.
The Frys.com Open highlights a different charity Wednesday – Sunday. Daily tickets will feature the charity of the day’s logo and will also receive a feature in the daily pairings guide.
In support of The First Tee of Silicon Valley and the Northern California Golf Association, Defending Champion Jonas Blixt will substitute his caddie during Wednesday’s Pro-Am for one lucky member of The First Tee of Silicon Valley. Additionally, during the Wednesday Official Pro-Am, kids from The First Tee of Silicon Valley will have the opportunity to caddie for a professional on the 17th hole.
The First Tee of Silicon Valley will also be entertaining guests in a 17th Green Skybox.
Other charity days include the Ballet of San Jose (Thursday), the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (Friday), American Institute of Mathematics (Saturday) and Special Olympics of Northern California (Sunday).
Source: PGA TOUR
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