JOHNSON JUMPS BACK TO WORLD NO. 2
Dustin Johnson breezed to his sixth World Golf Championships title Sunday by closing with a 5-under 66 for a five-shot victory over Rory McIlroy in the Mexico Championship moving back to World No.2.
Johnson had said on Thursday he was starting to swing it as well as he did two years ago, when he won three straight tournaments to become the dominant figure in golf until his spill down the stairs on the eve of the Masters led to a back injury.
"This gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year," he said.
McIlroy was five behind at the turn and ran off six birdies in a seven-hole stretch before closing with a meaningless bogey for a 67. Johnson was right there with him with five birdies on the back nine.
The only drama came early.
Johnson had to make an 18-foot par on No. 2 to avoid a two-shot swing. He had to make a 6-foot putt to salvage bogey on the next hole, and his lead was cut in half in just three holes. Leading by three, the tournament turned on two holes and two trees.
Johnson hit iron off the tee to the right at No. 5 and his ball settled right behind a tree. He called for a ruling and showed the official that with a shot slightly behind toward the fairway, his right heel was on the curb of a cart path.
He was given free relief, carved a punch shot under the tree limbs and two-putted from 50 feet for an unlikely par.
"I got a fortunate break there on No. 5 and ended up making a nice par," he said. "Sometimes the rules work to your advantage."
On the par-5 sixth, McIlroy went left and his ball settled behind a tree. He asked for relief and was denied. McIlroy said he wanted to chip away from the fairway to an open area, and when he showed European Tour official Mike Stewart his intended shot, his right foot was on the path. However, to play at that angle, a 4-inch nob on the trunk blocked the path of his club, meaning McIlroy wouldn't be able to make contact.
To play out left-handed, McIlroy would have had to stretch his foot to reach the path. In both cases, relief was denied. Stewart said he asked McIlroy if he wanted a second opinion, and McIlroy declined. He punched out left-handed, and his third shot went into the water, leading to a bogey.
Johnson made an 8-foot birdie, the lead was up to five shots and Johnson took it from there.
PGA Tour – Puerto Rico Open
Trainer, who won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2018, shot a 5-under-par 67 Sunday to win the Puerto Rico Open by three shots.
He had 230 text messages waiting for him after his round completed, and put in a quick call to his Mom before picking up the trophy and settling in as a PGA TOUR winner.
“I never thought that I would be able to win on the PGA TOUR,” said Trainer. “I managed to do it today and that's just incredible.”
Trainer had made only three cuts on TOUR so far this year and said he started the year struggling with his game.
He took a break after a busy Web.com Tour schedule last winter and returned to France – Trainer was born in Marseille – for some family time before getting back to work.
With the win Trainer earned 300 FedExCup points (moving to 39th in the FedExCup standings) and will be exempt into THE PLAYERS Championship along with the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Realizing how much his life had changed, he said, was still settling in.
“I never had the luxury of making a plan… I was just trying to play as many events as I could,” said Trainer. “So now I guess that will be a little different, I'll be able to pick and choose where I want to go and have a little more flexibility with my schedule. It's just such a great feeling to be able to have that.”
Trainer finally allowed himself to realize he was a TOUR winner on the 18th hole despite battling nerves all day.
PGA Tour of Australasia – Coca-Cola QLD PGA Championship presented by Toowoomba Regional Council
Daniel Nisbet has won the 2019 Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship presented by Toowoomba Regional Council.
Starting the day with a two shot lead, Nisbet has won the title by six shots from Deyen Lawson and Harrison Endycott with rounds of 66, 63, 63 and 64.
This becomes Nisbet’s third win on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia in the past 12 months.
From Toowoomba he heads to Queenstown to defend his New Zealand Open title in the tournaments 100th staging.
Nordic Golf League – PGA Catalunya Resort Championship
Morten Ørum Madsen led from the start to the end of the final day of the PGA Catalunya Resort Championship.
Madsen kept his nerve with a total of 8 under par and thus ended a shot ahead of Mathieu Fenasse from France and two shots in front of Swedish Martin Eriksson.
It has been a long time since Morten Ørum Madsen really had something to celebrate on the golf course, but on Tuesday he could again throw his arms up on the 18th green. The victory at the PGA Catalunya Resort Championship was tough, but MØM eventually showed his class.
And the victory can prove enormous for MØM, who can now seriously begin the quest for a return to the Europe Tour.
Alps Tour Golf – Winter Series – Ein Bay Open
Lacroix sealed his first win as a pro in wire-to-wire fashion at ALPS Tour season open - Ein Bay Open.
On the pristine fairways of the Sokhna Golf Club B&C courses, in perfect weather conditions, Lacroix showed an uncommon coolness for a rookie playing – and leading from the start – his first tournament as a pro.
He passed from co-leading on the first day at minus 6, to be sole leader in the second round with -11 and finally winning with a total of -15, carding only 3 bogeys in 54 holes, 14 birdies and 2 eagles. Lacroix ended four strokes clear of young Spaniard Manuel Elvira, 22 – author of the best card of the final round, 65 (-7) – and Irishman Jonathan Yates, 25. On fourth place, three players were tied at -10 : Frenchman Teremoana Beaucousin, 24 ; Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez, 29 ; and Italian Federico Maccario, 24.
“My goal was winning one of the tournaments of the Winter Series, and I worked for that ; and after the first round I told myself that it was possible, and I could have the chance right here. I never lost my confidence during the final round, although I did hit some really bad shot, especially on the back nine, but I was able to recover well”.
Mena Golf Tour – Troon Series – Al Zorah Open
The comeback was complete for Australian Daniel Gaunt when he won the Troon Series – Al Zorah Open following a thrilling three-way play-off on Wednesday.
The 40-year-old England-based Gaunt, who quit professional golf midway through 2017 and was playing only his second competitive event after starting again this year, shot a one-over par 73 in brutally windy conditions at the Nicklaus Design course in Ajman to finish on nine-under par 207 in the 54-hole tournament.
He was joined at that score by England’s Benjamin David, who shot his third successive 69, and South African MG Keyser (71).
In the ensuing play-off that lasted two holes, Gaunt birdied both to record his first win in an Official World Golf Ranking-recognized event since his Telenet Trophy victory on the European Challenge Tour in May 2013.