LASHLEY JUMPS TO WORLD NO.101
PGA Tour - Rocket Mortgage Classic
Nate Lashley completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday for his first PGA TOUR title jumping 252 spots to a career best of World No.101.
Lashley closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 25-under 263 and win by six shots, the margin he took into the day after opening with rounds of 63, 67 and 63.
The 36-year-old Lashley's parents and girlfriend were killed in a plane crash 15 years ago. He dabbled in real estate after graduating from the University of Arizona, quit playing professional golf several years ago and resumed playing in PGA TOUR circuits.
"Without my parents, I wouldn't have started playing golf when I was little," said Lashley, who began playing when he was 8. "They did everything to help me have a career."
Monday qualifier Doc Redman shot a 67 to finish second. Rory Sabbatini (68) and Wes Roach (68) were another stroke back.
Lashley slipped into PGA TOUR's first event in Detroit as an alternate Wednesday.
The Nebraskan took full advantage, shooting a career-low 63 in the first round to take a lead he refused to lose at Detroit Golf Club. Lashley stayed atop the leader board with a 67 on Friday and gave himself a cushion with another 9-under 63 Saturday.
On the brink of breaking through during his second PGA TOUR season, his sister, girlfriend, buddies and family friends flew to Detroit to join him.
Japan Golf Tour - Dunlop SRIXON Fukushima Open
Rikuya Hoshino won the Dunlop Srixon Fukushima Open after 56 holes were completed. The tournament was shortened due to bad weather.
Hoshino won 16 Ranking points moving from 148 to a career best of World No.110.
European Tour - Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation
Christiaan Bezuidenhout won his first European Tour title in emphatic style with a six shot victory at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.
The South African came into the final day at Real Club Valderrama with a five shot lead and while he saw that trimmed to three at one point, a closing 71 saw him finish at ten under and lift the trophy.
The victory also secures Bezuidenhout a Major Championship debut at The Open Championship, with the 25-year-old, Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera and local favourite Adri Arnaus qualifying as the top three players in the top ten not already exempt.
Spaniards Eduardo de la Riva and Alvaro Quiros also finished in a five way tie at four under but missed out due to sitting lower on the Official World Golf Ranking, while World Number 11 Jon Rahm is already exempt.
Bezuidenhout's victory completes a remarkable rise for a player who has had to overcome adversity since a young age.
At the age of two he mistakenly drank rat poison, an incident that led to him developing a stammer that caused him to suffer anxiety.
The beta blockers he took to combat his stammer led to him failing a doping test at the 2014 Amateur Championship and while his two year ban was reduced to nine months after officials adjudged he had not been seeking to gain a competitive advantage, he missed out on representing his country at the Eisenhower Trophy.
Now five years on from those dark days, he is a European Tour winner in his 57th appearance and moves into the top ten of the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex after also finishing second and third this season.
"I'm proud of myself hanging in there today," he said.
China Tour - Beijing Open
As the 5th China Tour tournament rounded off in Beijing, Maverick Antcliff won his third title, at the Beijing Open moving from 263 to World No.220, a career best.
KPGA Korean Golf Tour - The 62nd KPGA Championship with A-ONE CC
Woojun Lee won the 62nd KPGA Championship with A-ONE CC, earning 9 Ranking points, moving from 337 to a career best of World No. 231.
Challenge Tour – Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil
Matthew Jordan claimed his first professional win at the Italian Challenge Open Eneos Motor Oil, beating Lorenzo Scalise in a play-off at Terre dei Consoli Golf Club.
Jordan and home favourite Scalise headed to the 150-yard par three 16th hole, having carded rounds of 66 and 65, respectively, to top the leaderboard at 17 under par, after overnight leader Antoine Rozner failed to capitalise on his three shot advantage.
The Englishman found the green with his tee shot, however, the Italian came up short in the water and missed the green with his third shot, leaving Jordan with two putts from 40 foot to clinch his debut European Challenge Tour title.
Having turned professional in September 2018, Jordan was thrilled to claim the victory, especially after making such a strong start to life on the Challenge Tour.
“It’s difficult to explain how I feel right now,” he said. “I just wanted to go out and play as well as I could. I got off to an unbelievable start and from then on I got myself into the tournament and into contention.
“I’ve had a couple of top tens previously but with winning, you never know when you’re actually going to do it until it happens. To finally win, especially at this event with a larger prize fund and more ranking points, is brilliant and I can’t really describe it.
“The drive off 17 was my only poor tee shot today but I putted well. I canned about 80 foot of putts in the first three holes. I started laughing on the third hole because it felt a bit ridiculous. On 17 I tried to play safe and then got up and down, hitting what felt like the perfect putt.”
Scalise, who also turned professional last September, claimed his best result in only his sixth Challenge Tour appearance with a runner-up spot, while Spain’s Carlos Pigem recorded a bogey free round of 65, seven under par, to finish a shot behind in third place.
Rozner, a two-time Challenge Tour winner already this season, was looking for his third triumph – and with it instant promotion to the European Tour – but ended the day two shots behind Jordan and Scalise. Oliver Farr of Wales and Swiss Raphaël de Sousa joined the Frenchman in a share of fourth place following their rounds of 69 and 68, respectively.
Korn Ferry Tour - Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
Kristoffer Ventura defeated Joshua Creel on the third playoff hole to win the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank. Ventura carded a final-round, bogey-free 65 before eventually winning with a par on the third extra hole at Oakridge Country Club.
“This is unreal and I’m really happy to be in this position,” Ventura said. “I did everything I could before (the playoff) and I just figured if someone is going to win, I’ll try my best. As long as I do that, I’ll be happy afterwards. Obviously, it turned out to be pretty good.”
Ventura began the final round three shots off the lead. The 24-year-old carded birdies on Nos. 1 and 5 to get to 10-under for the week. Despite windy conditions in the afternoon, Ventura kept his momentum going on the back nine. He rallied with birdies on Nos. 12, 13, 15 and 17 to get to 14-under for the championship, earning him a spot in the playoff with Creel.
Both Ventura and Creel made par on the first two playoff holes. On the third extra hole, Creel’s par attempt lipped out, leaving Ventura a 3-footer for par to secure his first Korn Ferry Tour title. With the victory, Ventura earned 500 Korn Ferry Tour Points and moved to No. 17 in The 25.
"Being on the PGA TOUR has always been a dream of mine,” Ventura said after his victory. “I’ve gotten a taste of it. It’s been my goal this whole time. Now I’m a little closer. But next week is a new week and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and trust the process.”
Earlier this season, Ventura made the most of a sponsor's exemption at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation, where he finished T3 in just his third start on the Korn Ferry Tour. Prior to his top-5 at the BMW Charity Pro-Am, Ventura was struggling to earn starts through Monday qualifying.
“A few weeks ago, I got an invite to the BMW Charity Pro-Am and finished in a tie for third there, and after that I was able to plan my schedule and that was the biggest thing for me,” he said. “Before that, I was playing Monday qualifiers and that was pretty tough mentally. To be in this position now, it’s incredible.”
Ventura was a standout at Oklahoma State University before turning professional in 2018. He played alongside teammates Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff, who both have experienced early success on the PGA TOUR. Hovland fired a final-round, 8-under 64 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic to finish T13 on Sunday.
Sunshine Tour - KCB Karen Masters
Toto Thimba won the KCB Karen Masters by 10 shots, with a a final-round 65 to total 26-under-par 262 and claim his maiden Sunshine Tour victory by three shots at Karen Country Club.
He went into the final round trailing Stephen Ferreira by a single stroke at 19-under-par, and after opening with a par on the first, he made an eagle on the second to pull away from Ferreira who had dropped on the first hole. Thimba then backed that up with a birdie but made back-to-back bogeys on the par-three fifth hole and the sixth. He bounced back from those with another birdie on seven for a 34 on the front nine.
A birdie on the 10th was followed by an eagle on the 12th but, again, he dropped, and this time on the par-three 13th. A run of three birdies on the trot from the 15th through to the 17th before closing with a welcomed par on the last to become the first member of the Gary Player Class to win a tournament since the programme was instituted in 2016.
“To be honest, I’m really impressed with the way I played this week,” he said. “I’ve been working on my state of mind, you know. Everyone said, ‘you’re playing well and why can’t you win?’. So, I had to sit down and check myself and see why I can’t win. So, I started reading books of authors like Les Brown, Eric Thomas and that was a turning point in my life because that made me strong mentally and I had a great attitude this week.”
Known on Tour to be among the humblest of players, Thimba was very confident, if not bullish, in Nairobi this week, opting for an aggressive approach to the tournament in his search for that first win.
“I knew I was going to win,” he said on Sunday. “This win is for my mentor, Zekiel Moore, who lost a wife and a son, and I said I was going to win it for him.” In a way that only Thimba can be, he refuses to claim the victory as his own, instead dedicating it to fellow Gary Player Class members.
Asian Development Tour - PGM ADT Championship @ Tiara Melaka
Korean Joohyung Kim birdied three of his closing four holes to post a six-under-par 66 and secure his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) win in the final round of the PGM ADT Championship @ Tiara Melaka on Saturday.
The 17-year-old Korean held his nerve to convert his multiple close calls this season into a stunning six-shot victory with his four-day total of 23-under-par 265 at the RM 225,000 (US$54,000) event staged at the Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club.
Japan’s Naoki Sekito put up a strong final-day charge to card a flawless 66 which included an eagle on hole 16 to take a share of second place with Malaysia’s Sukree Othman (68). Sekito moved up to take over the top spot on the ADT Order of Merit following his strong finish.
Malaysia’s Amir Nazrin produced the shot of the day when he scored his first professional ace on hole four with his nine-iron from 176 yards. He went on to sign for an eventual 73 to end his campaign in tied-32nd.
“It feels so great to finally win, like I said I’ve come so close so many times and to be able to finish it off despite all the pressure I felt today is fantastic,” said Kim, who took home a winner’s purse of US$9,529.28 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points while the other top six players and ties earned points based on a sliding scale.
Kim returned this morning to finish three holes for a third-round 67 and brought a four-shot lead into the final round. He traded seven birdies against one bogey to become the second Korean to ever win on the ADT following countryman Seung Park.
“I came into the final round with and then started off with a bogey. I just told myself to stay patient and to just do the best that I can. Coming to end of the round I just knew I was in control and the pressure slowly went away,” added Kim, who is also a two-time winner on the Philippine Golf Tour.
ProGolf Tour – Polish Open 2019 by John Deere
With a total 19 under par and a seven-stroke advantage over runner-up Felix Mory (-12) from France the Czech Ondrej Lieser secured himself the winner's trophy of the Polish Open 2019 by John Deere.
Playing rounds of 61, 66 and 64 strokes, the 27-year-old celebrates his second overall success on the Pro Golf Tour at the picturesque Gradi Golf Club in Prusice, Poland.
Abema TV Tour - Daisendori Cup
Eric Sugimoto won the Daisendori Cup, earning 4 Ranking points, moving from 1058 to a career best of World No. 735.
Nordic Golf League – Tinderbox Charity Challenge - For De Vildeste Fugle
Christopher Sahlstrom won the Tinderbox Charity Challenge - For De Vildeste Fugle, earning 4 Ranking points, moving from 1071 to a career best of World No. 741.
EuroPro Tour – Tinderbox Charity Challenge - For De Vildeste Fugle
Alfie Plant pulled off an extraordinary back nine to win The GolfCatcher Championship at Dudsbury Golf Club in scorching conditions.
Going into his final round, Plant (Sundridge Park Golf Club) was five shots behind Marco Penge of Golf at Goodwood but recovered going six under in his final round to win by one stroke after Penge went level par.
Plant’s back nine included five birdies. He said: “It feels great. There was a lot to ask today and I needed everything to go for me, it did. Ecstatic. I only kind of got wind on the 12th tee that he (Marco Penge) was 12 or 13 so I just went birdie, birdie and keep my foot on the gas.”
“I’d love to know what was different. All of us guys work really hard. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing any different to previously. Sometimes it just clicks.”
Overnight leader, Marco Penge lost his lead on fifteen with a double bogey after going around the front nine three under par. A birdie on seventeen meant he had to birdie the last to level.
Elsewhere, there was a strong finish for Jamie Dick (Forest Hills Golf Club) with his highest finish of the season coming third with rounds of 70, 67 and 69.
Whilst Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park/G4L) posted a final round of five under to tie for fourth with Jonathan Caldwell (Clandeyboye Golf Club), Will Whiteoak (Shipley Golf Club) and Daniel Brennan (Shannon Golf Club)
BigEasy Tour – Big Easy Challenge 5 - State Mines
Jason Smith burst from the blocks with a trio of birdies and kept his foot on the pedal to win his first Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour title of the season at State Mines Country Club on Wednesday.
The Pretoria native, who began the final day three shots off the lead, fired a stunning five-under-par 67 to come from behind and triumph on 11-under 205.
A pay-day worth R10 500 boosted Smith to second in the 2019 Road to Sunshine Tour Rankings and he trails leader Matthew Spacey by less than R3 000. The final round 67 also netted the Irene golfer a share of the low round honours with Jeremy Sharpe.
Sharpe burst through the field with five birdies and an eagle to tie for second on seven-under with Quintin Wilsnach and overnight leader Michael-James Steyn. The pair registered respective rounds of 70 and 74.
It was an action-packed final day, with Smith taking centre stage.
The 25-year-old pitched it close on the first and second holes and knocked in makeable short putts to get off to a roaring start.
“I played the third hole nicely all week, with a birdie in the first round and eagle in the second, so I was gunning for another birdie,” Smith said. “I hit a great drive and had 200 metres left, so I flushed a 6-iron in. With the wind behind, it flew the green, but I hit a great chip to up-and-down for birdie.
“I’ve always played the front nine great and fell apart on the back nine, so that start really set me up for a winning round.”
A fourth birdie at par three eighth and an eagle at the 10th saw Smith swoop into the lead.