WEEK 50 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 15

SPIETH CLAIMS HIS FIRST MAJOR TITLE

Masters Tournament

Jordan Spieth matched the lowest 72-hole score in Masters Tournament history as he became the second youngest winner of the event in spectacular wire-to-wire fashion at Augusta National.

Having already set new 36- and 54-hole scoring records, Spieth also equalled the 72-hole record of 18 under set by Tiger Woods in 1997 after a bogey on the 18th, finishing four shots clear of Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson.

Spieth's total of 28 birdies beat the previous best of 25 set by Mickelson in 2001, his last of the week on the 15th also making him the first player ever to reach 19 under par in the Masters.

The 21 year old American is the first player since Ray Floyd in 1976 to lead outright from start to finish, as well as becoming the second youngest champion behind Woods.

Now second in the Official World Golf Ranking, Spieth is just five months older than Woods was in 1997, having almost become the youngest ever champion when he led by two shots after seven holes of the final round on his debut last year.

After his win Spieth hailed a dream come true.

"It was very nerve-wracking," Spieth said before being presented with the green jacket by 2014 winner Bubba Watson. "I thought it might be easier today than yesterday but it wasn't. I did not sleep well last night. With two Major Champions right behind me I could not let up.

"It's the most incredible week of my life. This is as great as it gets in our sport. It's a dream come true for me. I did not break 70 last year even having a chance to win so to shoot some low scores and hear those roars is very special.

"I saw my friends and family behind the green and knew it was a done deal. It did not kick in there and it still has not kicked in. I am still in shock a little bit.

"It was cool to share that experience with them because they have not been there the couple of times I have won."

World Number One Rory McIlroy, needing to win to complete the career Grand Slam, had to settle for fourth place on 12 under par after a flawless closing 66, with Japan's Hideki Matsuyama fifth and Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Dustin Johnson sharing sixth.

 

Challenge Tour - The Barclays Kenya Open

Haydn Porteous carded a dramatic eagle two at the first extra hole to edge out compatriot and friend Brandon Stone en route to his first professional title at the Barclays Kenya Open.

The 20 year old South African from Johannesburg hit a sublime three wood from the tee to seven feet at the par four 12th in the first hole of sudden death after signing for a closing 68 at Karen Country Club to pull alongside Stone at 17 under par, having trailed by one overnight.

In what was a ding-dong battle between the final group, Porteous made a strong start with two birdies before further gains followed at the fifth, 12th and 13th to cover dropped shots at the sixth and 14th.

As for Stone, who made six birdies of his own on Sunday to card a 69, the turning point came when he racked up a double bogey at the par four 13th. That allowed Porteous back into contention, and when the pair both birdied the par five 18th, extra holes were required to decide a victor.

The triumph fulfils the promise Porteous showed as an amateur, while it also earns him a first full season of Challenge Tour action.

“It hasn’t sunk in just yet, but I am sure when I wake up tomorrow morning I will know exactly what I’ve done,” said Porteous, who was ranked the best amateur in South Africa before joining the paid ranks. “It was nerve-wracking out there today and certainly not boring.

 

Sunshine Tour – Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open

Dean Burmester hit “the best shot of his life” on the 18th of Royal Harare Golf Club on Sunday to set up a tournament-winning birdie at the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open.

The 25-year-old was tied for the lead on 15-under-par as he came down the last hole, and thick crowds added to the pressure, but he confidently fired at the pin and his wedge approach stopped two feet from the cup. He boxed the putt to go 16-under and secured a one-shot victory over Brasil’s Adilson da Silva.

“I had to go for the flag and that was the moment that did it for me, that shot,” said Burmester. “I knew I had that putt to win and the hole looked very small. There was a lot of pressure in the air and I told myself to commit as much as I could.”

It was a stoic performance from the Bloemfontein local, who was on fire down the stretch and birdied the 12th, 14th, 16th and 18th on his way to a Sunday 67 and his third Sunshine Tour title.

“If you had told me two years ago that I’d be a three-time champ I would have laughed it off, but now it’s real and we’ll be looking to bigger and better things. This is the biggest win in my career and a massive stepping stone and hopefully we can kick on to Europe and America,” he said.

 

Asian Development Tour - PGM Johor Championship

Nicholas Fung of Malaysia claimed his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) win after romping to a commanding 11-stroke victory at the PGM Johor Championship on Saturday.

Fung, the 2013 ADT Order of Merit winner, nailed nine birdies against a lone bogey to match his third round efforts of an eight-under-par 64 at the Johor Golf and Country Club.

His winning total of 27-under-par 261, which is his personal best, would have been the record lowest 72-hole score on the ADT if not for the preferred lies in play.

Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing and R. Nachimuthu, also of Malaysia, shared second place following identical 71s while newcomer Sean Riordan of New Zealand, who registered a 69, settled for fourth on 276 in the RM200,000 (approximately US$55,400) ADT event.

Order of Merit leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei carded a 69 to share eighth place on 280 total with three other players.

The final round of the PGM Johor Championship was suspended at 12.46pm local time due to lightning threats before resuming close to three hours later. The delay, however, did not dampen the spirits of Fung, who eventually became the third Malaysian to win on the ADT this season.

“I feel unstoppable out there. The birdies just kept coming.

“I didn’t expect this. I thought I would be under pressure playing with Lam and Nachimuthu but I reminded myself to just play my own game and not think too much. I enjoyed myself out there and I’m happy with the results,” said Fung, whose overnight four-shot lead was hardly threatened.