Week 19 - MATT KUCHAR WINS THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP AND JUMPS TO A CAREER HIGH OF WORLD NUMBER 5
Matt Kuchar closed with a 2-under 70 for a two-shot victory at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Martin Laird bogeyed the 72nd hole to finish in a tie for second with Americans Zach Johnson (68), Ben Curtis (68) and Rickie Fowler (69), at 11-under-par. Kuchar, playing at the back of the field found himself two shots clear and well placed to take away the World's biggest first prize of $1.71 million. A birdie on the 16th extended the lead to three and Kuchar could afford a three putt bogey on 17 as he parred the 18th for victory which takes him up to a career best of 5th in the Official World Golf Ranking, a jump of eleven positions.
Ricardo Santos leapt 114 places up the World Ranking after a four stroke maiden victory at the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal. Starting the day four adrift of overnight leader Carlos Del Moral, Santos fired a bogey free round of 63, posting nine birdies en route to a stunning Sunday 62 and his first title on The European Tour.
Toru Taniguchi braved a brutal final 36 holes at the Karasuyamajo Country Club to finish one stroke clear of compatriot Keiichiro Fukabori at the PGA Championship Nissin Cupnoodles Cup 2012. A superb first round from Taniguchi set him up for a title tilt, and as conditions worsened over a weekend where no one managed to break 70, the Japanese star hung tough to pick up his 18th title on the Japan Golf Tour and climb 18 places to 79th on the World Ranking.
England’s Eddie Pepperell made a gigantic 674 place gain on the Official World Golf Ranking this week after a maiden Challenge Tour title at the ALLIANZ Open Cotes d’Armor Bretagne saw him move to 481st in the world. His chances of victory had looked remote after two bogeys in his opening five holes on Sunday, but the young Englishman rallied to post a final round 68 and set the target in the clubhouse. This was met by Dane Jeppe Huldahl, and when he made a bogey on 18 the second time around, it handed Pepperell the title.
Kim Bi-o picked up the second win of his burgeoning professional career with a dominant display en route to glory at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open Golf Championship. The five stroke victory on home soil, and in his nation’s capital no less, was Bi-o’s second on the One Asia circuit having triumphed at the Nanshan China Masters last year after a four man playoff. His reward, a leap of 130 places on the World Ranking that sees him climb up into 252nd spot.
Not only did Ryan Cairns shoot a course record final round to claim his maiden Sunshine Tour title at the Vodacom Origins of golf, but he sealed the deal with an eagle chip in at the first playoff hole to boot. The win sees Cairns become the second player this week to make huge gains on the ranking, climbing a staggering 721 places up into 624th position.