The first lesson we learned in an awesome roller coaster afternoon of golf at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational is that Colonial Country Club rocks. All manner of golfers were involved in the final round. Between Kevin Kisner, Stewart Cink, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm and Webb Simpson, you pretty much ran the gamut for styles of play. Kisner eventually emerged as the champion at 10 under to defeat Spieth, Rahm and Sean O'Hair by one stroke with a Sunday 66.
It wasn't without a little bumpiness coming home, though. Kisner three-putted the 16th hole and had to get up and down at the last for his second PGA Tour title. But in terms of pure clout, there's not a much better non-major championship victory than holding off Spieth and Rahm at a classic track like Colonial that has produced so many spectacular winners.
Kisner might not fit that mold of superstar straight away, but his ball-striking is about as good as it gets on the PGA Tour. Kisner came into this week ranked No. 15 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee to green -- a pretty solid number for a one-time winner. He backed it up this week with a top-five finish in that category.
It was his short game at the very end, though, that saved the day. After hitting his second shot over the green on the 72nd hole and facing a tough position, Kisner opted to putt his third shot from pretty far off the green. He got it to five feet and buried the putt for what would eventually turn out to be a tournament winner.
"... We've been working on the pitching and chipping, and it's really paid off. I feel way more comfortable," Kisner said to CBS Sports' Peter Kostis. "I don't think I could have hit a foot with a wedge. It was a gnarly lie. I knew I could have a putt if I putted it."
Kisner steps in the shoes of guys like Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott who have won Colonial. It's a place with a rich history of pretty phenomenal winners, and Kisner knows it.
"I'm just honored to be the champion here," Kisner said. "To come back every year and see my name on that wall is going to be something special. I'm happy to win any tournament, but especially here. I love this place."
It has always felt like Kisner deserved more than the one win he had. He came into this week having finished second six times in 147 events, including at tournaments like The Players Championship and the RBC Heritage. He's a really solid player who maybe doesn't get enough credit because he doesn't have that many trophies.
You can erase all of that, though, as he gets win No. 2 over what will probably turn out to be two of the five best players of their generation (Rahm and Spieth). It wasn't their turn on Sunday, however, as Kisner held court and took a trophy out from under a litany of studs. It was only a matter of time, it seemed for Kisner, and that moment finally arrived on Sunday. Overall grade: A+
Here are the rest of our grades for the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
Phil Mickelson (T29): Lefty was undone by a single bad day (75 on Friday) in his first appearance at Colonial since 2010. He played solidly on the weekend, though, and it appears that he will play every week through the U.S. Open now. That seems insane for a soon-to-be 47-year-old, but Mickelson isn't a normal soon-to-be 47-year-old, apparently. He gets a B- for his play on the course, but an A+ for the high kick. Overall grade: B
Jordan Spieth (T2): Last year's champ nearly willed himself into a playoff, but he lacked a bit of a closing kick. Still, his 65 on Sunday (and performance all week) should quiet the folks talking about how off he's been all season. Spieth was locked in, and if anything, the last month has proven that there are just certain courses he doesn't feel comfortable on. Grade: A
Jon Rahm (T2): I'm in awe. The numbers tell a startling story for the 22-year-old who just moved into the OWGR top 10, but they don't tell the whole thing.
He was hammering 340-yard drives coming home, and touching them off with absurd paintings like this one on the par-4 17th. This should be illegal for anyone, much less somebody who hits it as far as Rahm. Grade: A