North Oaks’ Frankie Capan III finishes second in Tennessee after playoff on Korn Ferry Tour

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Frankie Capan III didn’t pay much mind to Harry Higgs’ eagle putt on the 18th green on the second playoff hole Sunday of the Visit Knoxville Open at Holston Hills Country Club in Tennessee.

Higgs’ eagle putt was roughly 37 feet out on the par-5. Capan had a look from roughly 23 feet closer. The North Oaks native was in prime position to potentially claim his first Korn Ferry Tour victory.

But Higgs — who delivered plenty of magic to win last week’s Korn Ferry Tour event — conjured up a bit more Sunday, rolling in the lengthy putt for eagle, as his ball just caught the edge of the cup to sneak in. As it fell to the bottom, Capan peeked over and threw a thumbs up in Higgs’ direction.

Capan’s ensuing putt just missed, and Higgs was a back-to-back winner on tour.

“I was fortunate last week with a hole-out and then probably fortunate that that caught the right edge and went in,” Higgs told reporters, “but those are the things you have to have to win golf tournaments.”

For Capan, it’s still another great week. He has logged two top fives in his last three events, and has four top 10s in his last five starts.

Three weeks ago, he owned the golf scene for a day after firing an opening-round 59 en route to a fourth-place finish in Texas. On Saturday, he shot a 62 to take grab a one-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round.

And Capan played well on Sunday. He shot a bogey-free 66 — only one shot worse than Higgs’ 18-hole score. Capan birdied two of his first four holes, but then the well ran dry as a few putts simply didn’t drop.

On the final hole of regulation — that par 5 — Capan cranked his second shot 232 yards to the green to set up a 47-foot eagle putt that would’ve won the tournament. He cozied it up to to the cup and tapped in for birdie to force extra holes.

Both Higgs and Capan hit short putts for birdie on the first playoff hole, and it took something special from Higgs to finally edge the 24-year-old Minnesotan for the victory.

Capan’s performance will push him up into the top 15 on the Korn Ferry Tour’s season long points list. The top 30 by year’s end earn PGA Tour cards. There are currently no Minnesota natives on men’s golf’s top professional tour.

Capan’s time is certainly coming, it just wasn’t Sunday.

“He’s a phenomenal golfer, and he will be standing here doing a (winner’s) interview in short order, I believe,” Higgs said Sunday. “Then I think he will also have great success at the next level.”

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