LAS VEGAS — Former LSU golfer Smylie Kaufman won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday in his fifth PGA Tour start, shooting a 10-under 61 and waiting more than two hours to see if anyone could catch him.
Kaufman played the final 11 holes in 9 under with an eagle and seven birdies. The 23-year-old set up the eagle with a 3-wood drive to 15 feet on the par-4 15th and closed with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to post 16-under 268 at TPC Summerlin.
The victory comes with several huge perks for the Birmingham, Alabama, native, starting with invitations to the 2016 Masters and PGA Championship.
Kaufman, who took home a $1.152 million first-prize check, also gets into the 2016 Tournament of Champions, The Players and earns a two-year exemption from qualyfing.
Kaufman played at LSU from 2010-14.
Kevin Na, third-round leader Brett Stegmaier, Patton Kizzire, Cameron Tringale, Jason Bohn and Alex Cejka tied for second, a stroke back.
Na, coming off playoff loss last week to Emiliano Grillo in the season-opening event in Napa, California, made a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th to tie for the lead, but bogeyed the par-3 17th after flubbing a chip, and missed a 15-foot birdie try on 18.
Stegmaier had the last chance to force a playoff, but hit his approach on 18 into the left fringe and came up short on a 20-foot birdie try.