WEEK 7 Brett Rumford

Week 49

MATSUYAMA WINS A 5TH TITLE

Hero World Challenge

Hideki Matsuyama was only 5 when he first saw Tiger Woods, watching on videotape that 1997 Masters victory. Even sweeter was standing next to Woods in his Sunday red shirt to receive yet another trophy.

Right now, the Japanese star can't seem to lose.

The return of Tiger Woods ended with Matsuyama winning his third straight tournament, and fourth out of his last five, in the Hero World Challenge.

"I can't say that I played well today, but I did win Tiger's tournament," Matsuyama said. "And what a great honor that is."

Matsuyama had a few nervous moments on the back nine at Albany when his seven-shot lead at the start of the final round was reduced to two shots over The Open Championship winner Henrik Stenson with two to play.

Matsuyama closed with two pars for a 1-over 73 and a two-shot victory.

Woods found plenty of positives from his first tournament in more than 15 months, though the final round featured three double bogeys and a 76 -- the highest score of the tournament -- that dropped him to 15th place out of 17 players.

"It feels good to be back out here playing again, competing and trying to beat the best players in the world," Woods said. "I missed it. I love it."

Sunshine / European Tour – Alfred Dunhill Championship

Home favourite Brandon Stone claimed his second European Tour title in style with a seven shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

The South African produced a closing 67 at Leopard Creek Country Club to finish the week on 22 under par and secure his second trophy of the calendar year after winning January's BMW SA Open hosted by City of Ekurhuleni.

Richard Sterne finished alone in second on 15 under after posting a bogey-free 67 in his final round, while Belgium's Thomas Detry was two strokes further back in third.

Stone began the day three shots clear of the chasing pack, but he had company at the top of the leaderboard early on Sunday after Charl Schwartzel - a four-time winner of this event - notched three birdies in his opening six holes to join his countryman on 17 under.

But, after safely parring his first five holes, Stone made a gain at the sixth to regain the outright lead.

And with Schwartzel dropping a shot at the seventh and Stone rolling in his 15 foot birdie putt at the same hole, the 23 year old's lead was back to three strokes.

Stone carded a bogey at the eighth to slip back to 18 under, but bounced back in style, holing his bunker shot at the tenth to make his third birdie of the day.

He added another birdie at the 11th before saving par at the next to keep the momentum going.

Stone then made further gains at the 13th and 14th to get to 22 under and open up a six-shot gap.

And when Schwartzel carded a triple bogey at the long 15th, Stone found himself seven strokes ahead of nearest challenger Sterne.

Stone dropped his second shot of the day at the 17th before finishing with a birdie at the last to move to 22 under.

PGA Tour of Australasia / European Tour – Australian PGA Championship

Harold Varner III put last season's play-off heartbreak behind him to card a closing round of 65 and win his first European Tour title at the Australian PGA Championship.

Varner entered the final round 12 months ago in a share of the lead, but a closing 75 in testing conditions at RACV Royal Pines Resort saw the American finish level par and lose out on the first play-off hole to Nathan Holman.

This time around on the Gold Coast, Varner teed off two shots behind long-time leader Andrew Dodt, and whilst the two went toe-to-toe in a thrilling battle down the stretch, his second 65 of the week saw him win by two shots on 19 under par.

Varner's victory makes him the first non-Australian to lift the trophy since New Zealander Greg Turner in 1999.

"I'm just super excited.  After last year, it feels good to come back and finish it off," said Varner.

"It's been a blast for me, between the volunteers, the people, I can't wait to come back.

"Yesterday when I got on the first tee and they said Adam Scott.  Well, actually, they went over all accolades, former number 1, Masters Champion I was like, well I'd pull for that guy too.

"Today when, Andrew made the putt on the 14th, par-3.  That's when I knew he was Australian.

"I just wanted to find a way to birdie every hole, because that's the only thing I can control.  I can't control what Andrew does, I can't control what Adam does.  The only think I can control is Harold.  That's what I've learned over the time."

Queenslander Dodt signed for a bogey-free 69 to sit on 17 under, two shots clear of countryman and 2013 champion Adam Scott.

Japan Golf Tour - Golf Nippon Series JT Cup

Sang Hyun Park won the season ending Golf Nippon Series J.T. Cup moving to World No. 125.

PGA Tour LatinoAmerica – Shell Championship

Nathan Lashey boasts a 10-stroke victory at the Shell Championship. In the final round of the 2016 Shell Championship, Nathan Lashley comfortably claimed his third career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica title and remains atop the Order of Merit leaderboard.

Asian Development Tour – Thongchai Jaidee Foundation

Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat mounted a sensational comeback by powering his way to victory with an impressive seven-under-par 65 to win the ADT Thongchai Jaidee Foundation on Sunday.

Chapchai, a four-time Asian Tour winner, overcame a four-shot deficit at the start of the day to eventually win the four million Baht (approximately US$115,770) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event by six shots, courtesy of his winning total of 12-under-par 276.

Compatriot Sorachut Hansapiban carded a 70 to finish outright second while overnight leader Peradol Panyathanasedh, who held a three-shot advantage, had a day to forget after he struggled to a 76 to sign off in third place.

Despite starting his round four shots back of Peradol, Chapchai was still confident of staging a fightback at the Black Mountain Golf Club.

The 33-year-old knew the gusty conditions would continue to pose a challenge to the leading contenders and there was still everything to play for at the ADT event.

“I putted really well today and that was the key to victory. The windy conditions really tested everyone’s abilities today and I knew I stood a chance once I managed to reach the 13th hole with five birdies and bogeys,” said Chapchai.

The Thai dropped his only shot of the day on the par-three 14 but stormed his way to a grandstand finish by closing with three successive birdies starting from the 16th hole.

“Yes, it was a nice way to finish the round with three birdies and I really have to thank my hot putter for helping me play so well today,” said Chapchai.

Asian Tour - Panasonic Open India

Local veteran Mukesh Kumar completed a wire-to-wire victory at the weather-shortened Panasonic Open India to claim his first Asian Tour title by one shot on Sunday.

Kumar, who had a two-shot advantage heading into the third and final round, closed with a two-under-par 70 for a winning total of 10-under-par 206 at the US$400,000 Asian Tour event, which was earlier reduced to 54 holes due to fog disruptions.

Kumar’s victory, worth US$72,000, made him the oldest winner on the Asian Tour at the age of 51 years and 126 days. Indian duo Jyoti Randhawa and Rashid Khan closed with matching 68s to share second place at the venerable Delhi Golf Club.

Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka capped his third consecutive top-five finish at the Panasonic Open India after signing for a 70 to take fourth place on 208. He is the only non-Indian to finish inside top-10 at the Asian Tour event, which celebrated its sixth edition this week.