CONNERS TEXAS WIN TAKES HIM TO AUGUSTA
PGA Tour – Valero Texas Open
Conners won on Sunday less than a week after qualifying, earning him the final available slot in the Masters. Conners only entered the tournament field Monday, and he's the first golfer to win on the PGA TOUR after qualifying on a Monday in nine years.
He made three birdies in the final five holes, shooting a 6-under 66. He was 20-under for the tournament, winning by two shots over Charley Hoffman.
Conners, the 2014 U.S. Amateur runner-up, will play in his second Masters. Two of the top three finishers last year at Augusta missed the top 10 this week. Rickie Fowler was tied for 17th while 10 strokes back at 10-under with a final-round 69, and Jordan Spieth (72) was 7-under.
"I definitely feel like I got good work done heading into next week," Fowler said. "I'm feeling good."
Stuard finished with 66 to get to 15-under. Kevin Streelman closed with an 8-under 64 and was 14-under. He missed tying the course record when, after four-straight birdies, he hit his approach from the 18th fairway into the gallery and bogeyed.
It was a wild round for Conners, a Canadian who had not won on any of the PGA TOUR's affiliated circuits -- he had finishes of second and third earlier this season. He had 10 birdies and four pars that sandwiched four consecutive bogeys on the front nine.
"After the middle of the front nine, I thought, `All right, this is going to be my tournament to win,'" Hoffman said. "He showed up and balled up. My hat's off to him."
Conners had a one-stroke lead when he rammed in a 34-foot birdie putt at No. 12, and stayed a stroke up with a tap-in birdie at the 14th.
Moore joined Conners at the top of the leaderboard with an 8-foot putt at No. 16 that was his fourth birdie in five holes.
Moore missed a birdie opportunity on the next hole when he couldn't convert on a putt from inside 10 feet. Minutes later, Conners sank a 10-footer to save par at No. 15, then hit to four feet to set up a birdie at the 175-yard par-3 16th. His birdie at No. 17 gave him a three-shot lead walking up the final hole.
Conners looked like he would tuck this one away early. He birdied four of the first five holes at TPC San Antonio. Trailing by a shot going in the final round, he benefited from a three-stroke swing on the leaderboard on the third hole with a 10-foot putt on the par-3. Kim hit into the water fronting the green and double-bogeyed. Later in the day, Kim was grabbing at his right upper body with an apparent injury.
Conners was two strokes ahead, and with birdies on the next two holes he led by four over both Kim and Hoffman.
Sunshine Tour – Zanaco Masters
JC Ritchie fought his way into a play-off with an incredible eagle on the last hole of regulation play on Sunday, and then made an unlikely birdie on the first play-off hole to take a thrilling victory in the Zanaco Masters at Lusaka Golf Club.
He drew level with Rhys Enoch of Wales with that eagle, and then survived an excursion into the hospitality marquee at the par-five 18th in the play-off to sink a nine-footer for birdie and take his fourth Sunshine Tour title after a roller-coaster of a final round in which Enoch appeared to have the upper hand for most of the day.
“I backed off the approach to 18 in regulation play,” said Ritchie. “I had 174 to the flag and I was straight in between an eight and a nine. I asked my caddie, ‘Am I trying to make birdie or am I trying to win the tournament?’ We decided that if I jumped on a nine-iron, I could get it there. We could cover the bunker and I absolutely flushed it straight at the pin. It was all or nothing at that point.
“The play-off was tricky. I didn’t think I had a chance after Rhys hit his drive miles up the fairway – it was probably 70 yards by me. I had an extra 40 metres further than I had in regulation play. After putting it in the tent, I just tried to give myself a chance because I’m putting really well. I feel for Rhys three-putting the last, because that’s not the way you want to win it, but that’s the way it goes.”
Asian Tour – Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open
Just four months after coming through Asian Tour Qualifying School with a tied-13th result, the 20-year-old Thai claimed his maiden Tour victory in his very first start at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open.
The in-form Sadom was eager to make his quick impression on the Asian Tour having lifted his first professional win at the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation 2019 in February on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
After opening his campaign with a 65, he blitzed a stellar field at the halfway stage with a stunning 62, giving him a three-shot advantage into the final two rounds.
Displaying the confidence of a Tour veteran, Sadom extended his lead with a 68 before a closing 70 was enough for him to take home his second win in three months.
“Winning in my first start on the Asian Tour, I feel very happy. I will take a lot of positives from this week and this win will give me a lot of confidence in my game. It’s been an unbelievable journey since turning professional last December,” said Sadom, who earned a winner’s prize purse of US$63,000.
The young Thai surged into the eighth spot on the current Habitat for Humanity Standings and made history by becoming the fastest Qualifying School graduate to win on the Asian Tour.