‘Hard Year’ Turns Victorious for Jonas Blixt

WHEN I READ IN THE ROANOKE TIMES that no 54-hole leader had won The Greenbrier Classic, I thought uh-oh. That didn’t sound good for Johnson Wagner, the local story since he played collegiate golf at nearby Virginia Tech. Sure enough, Wagner faded in the final round with a 3-over 73 and Swede Jonas Blixt rallied to claim his second PGA Tour victory.

Blixt was a model of consistency at The Old White, shooting 66-67-67-67 for a 13-under total of 267 and a two-shot win over a quartet of players that included Wagner. A final-round 67 got it done on a golf course on which someone usually goes low (or very low) to steal the prize. It meant a lot to Blixt, who came into the week ranked 139th in the world. He’ll move up to about 50th when the new rankings come out.

“It’s just been a hard year,” Blixt said.

“I just haven’t played that well and it just feels really weird, missing the cut last week and I felt like the ball was going everywhere, trying to find some stuff going into this week and kept working on it, never really felt that I got, you know, that slot in my swing where I can just rip at it. It was kind of constant work.

“I don’t know what it was; someone must have looked down on me and said the ball’s going to go in the right direction.”

Not only did Blixt collect a check for $1.34 million, his second tour win will get him into this year’s PGA Championship and next year’s Players Championship and Masters. His first win was at the 2012 Frys.com Open.

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

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