Robert Streb hits a drive on the second hole Sunday during final round of the RSM Classic in St. Simons Island, Ga. Streb won a playoff against Kevin Kisner for his first victory since 2014. Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Robert Streb now has two PGA Tour victories, both at Sea Island, both times winning in a playoff.

Those are the only similarities.

Six years after he had to rally from a five-shot deficit, Streb failed to protect a three-shot lead Sunday and felt the RSM Classic slipping away until he pieced together three big shots to beat Kevin Kisner, none bigger than his final full swing.

With his ball nestled in Bermuda rough on the second playoff hole on No. 18 at the Seaside course, Streb had to rely on a good guess and a soft bounce. He got both. His pitching wedge from a flier lie 158 yards away was perfect in flight, landed softly and came within an inch of going in.

That left him a tap-in birdie to cap a wild final hour that changes everything for Streb – a check worth nearly as much as he made the last two years, a return to the Masters and a PGA Tour exemption through August 2023.

“We were planning on the ball kind of knuckling out of there and jumping,” Streb said. “You’re kind of at the mercy of whatever you get, and it came out really well. I was just hoping it would land soft, and obviously it just worked out as good as you could hope for.”

Streb was one shot behind until his 6-iron on the par-3 17th took a good hop to 12 feet away for a birdie that allowed him to catch Kisner and finish with a 2-under 68.

Kisner, who won at Sea Island in 2015 for the first of his three PGA Tour titles, closed with a 63 and had a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th on the first extra hole that narrowly missed. Streb had to make an 8-footer for par to extend the playoff.

On the second playoff hole, Kisner’s tee shot was buried in deep rough, leaving him little chance of holding the green. He saw where Streb hit his pitching wedge and knew he had to hole his long chip, which raced 20 feet by the hole. He made that putt for a meaningless par.

They finished at 19-under 263, one shot ahead of Cameron Tringale (62).

The victory came at just the right time for Streb, who had to return to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals more than a year ago just to regain full status on the tour. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down golf for three months, no one lost his current status. Streb missed out on the PGA Tour postseason again, but kept his card.

He was hopeful of getting into the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico in two weeks. Now he’s fully exempt for the rest of this season and the next two. He’ll start 2021 on Maui in the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He’s in The Players Championship, the Masters and the PGA Championship.

The winner’s check of $1,188,000 is about $23,000 less than he earned during his struggles the last two years.

“It’s been some ups and downs, a lot of downs and a few good bright spots here and there,” he said. “The way things shook out with COVID, them extending everybody’s status was really nice. They could have sent me right back to the Korn Ferry Finals, but it shook out really nice. Then going to Maui and Augusta is pretty awesome.”

Streb also extended a trend in his new PGA Tour season that began in September, joining other players who ended long victory droughts. Stewart Cink won the Safeway Open for his first victory in 11 years. Martin Laird and Brian Gay each won for the first time in seven years.

In 11 tournaments of the new season, Streb is the fifth winner to be ranked outside the top 300 in the world.

LPGA: Sei Young Kim won the Pelican Women’s Championship for her second straight victory, closing with an even-par 70 for a three-stroke victory over Ally McDonald.

The KPMG Women’s PGA winner way back on Oct. 11 in her last start, the second-ranked Kim won for the 12th time on the LPGA Tour. She finished at 14-under 266.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Joachim B. Hansen of Denmark overturned a three-shot deficit with nine holes remaining to earn his first European Tour title at the Joburg Open in Johannesburg.

Hansen closed with a bogey-free 67 to finish at 19 under, two shots better than 20-year-old Wilco Nienaber of South Africa. Nienaber (70) saw his chance at a first title slip away with bogeys on his last two holes.

Comments are not available on this story.