MOLINARI JUMPS TO WORLD NO. 7
PGA Tour – Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
Francesco Molinari carded a final-round 64 to win Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard jumping to World No. 7.
Molinari delivered another big moment on the 18th green at Bay Hill, a 45-foot birdie putt capped off an 8-under 64 to come from five shots behind Sunday and win the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
Molinari watched the birdie putt kiss off the pin and into the cup, and the normally reserved Italian raised his fist and hammered it down in celebration, knowing that would make him hard to beat.
He started so far back that Molinari finished nearly two hours before the round ended. It gave him a two-shot lead at 12-under 276, and no one got closer than two shots the rest of the way.
"To do it here at Arnie's place, knowing my wife and kids are watching from home, it's very special," Molinari said.
He won for the fourth time in the last nine months, and in his first start since signing a new equipment deal.
Tiger Woods, who missed this week with a sore neck, has delivered so many birdie putts over the year on the 18th, usually to win and with Palmer on the side of the green waiting to congratulate him. Molinari's was longer than anything Woods ever made, from a slightly different angle. But he knew the history from so many highlights.
"It's a pretty iconic putt," he said. "I'm pretty sure I'm the first guy to make it with the flag in, though, so that's the real difference."
The new Rules of Golf allow the flag to be left in for putts in the green, and most players leave it there on long putts.
"Obviously, you're trying to lag it close to the hole and it came out on a great line and maybe a little firmer than I wanted, but the line was just right and incredible to see it going in," he said. "I've seen so many putts on TV like that and to do it yourself it's really amazing."
Matthew Fitzpatrick managed only two birdies in his round of 1-under 71 and made a 3-foot par putt to finish alone in second. Rory McIlroy started the final round one shot behind and never got anything going. He had two birdies, two bogeys and a 72 to tie for sixth.
European Tour – Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
Justin Harding birdied three of his last four holes to claim a first European Tour win at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters moving to a career best of World No. 52.
The South African arrived at Doha Golf Club without full playing privileges after finishing third on last season's Asian Tour but now has his breakthrough in his 54th European Tour start.
Harding made three early birdies to share the lead but his chance looked to have gone as he made two bogeys and South Korea's Jinho Choi signed for a brilliant 64 to set the clubhouse target at 11 under.
Birdies on the tenth and 12th put him back in contention and further gains on the 15th, 17th and 18th handed him a two shot lead at 13 under after a 66.
He faced a nervous wait as the final groups finished up but nobody could catch him, with countrymen Christiaan Bezuidenhout, George Coetzee and Erik van Rooyen, Spaniards Jorge Campillo and Nacho Elvira, Swede Anton Karlsson, Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, England's Oliver Wilson and Choi in a European Tour record nine way tie for second.
Sunshine Tour – Limpopo Championship
JC Ritchie won the inaugural Limpopo Championship on the first playoff hole at Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate on Sunday.
He signed for seven-under-par 65 in regulation to get to 18-under in regulation play and despite playing well all week long, it took Ritchie a strong back nine performance to force himself into a two-man playoff with Steve Surry who played amazing golf in Limpopo.
Having turned in 35, it didn’t look like Ritchie was in with a shout but four birdies and an eagle on the homeward stretch brought him back into it.
“It started off tough, very slow and it didn’t look like it was going anywhere,” said Ritchie of his final round of the first Limpopo Championship. “But, to turn on the fire on the back nine like I did means a lot more to me than people may think.
“After nine holes I had a good talking to myself. I had to do a bit of a game-change. In the beginning of the week all I wanted was just to hit greens, keep it in play and give myself chances but from the second round I saw guys were finding birdies out here so between yesterday and today I had to do something to start making birdies and today that back nine turned out good for me.”
With this tournament important to many players for all sorts of reasons – some playing to save their cards, others to get into the Tour Championship in two weeks’ time and others playing to improve their general standing on the Order of Merit – Ritchie also had something to play for.
“This win is huge for me,” he said, “not only for the win itself but my Order of Merit position. Going into Tour Champs, this win means so much to me and to have everyone here – my girlfriend and my friends, it was such a special event.”
All Thailand Golf Tour – 20th Singha Thailand Masters
The 54-hole leader Prom Meesawat posted an even-par-72 to win the 5-million baht Singha Thailand Masters by one shot in Chiang Rai on Sunday.
With a one-shot advantage after three rounds of the 5-million baht tournament, Prom made five birdies and five bogeys at the par-72 Santiburi Country Club to win on 13-under 276. It was the second win for the Hua Hin native at this most lucrative event on the All Thailand Golf tour. The first one came in 1999 when he was an amateur and when the tour was established.
Sarit Suwannarut, trailing by one shot into the final round, came in second on 11-under-277 following his closing 72 with three birdies and three bogeys.
“I am really happy to win the title again and that is a big boost for me to challenge for more titles,” said the 34-year-old Prom, who got 750,000 baht and seven world ranking points.
Mena Golf Tour – Troon Series - Dubai Open presented by Turkish Airlines
Mathiam Keyser protected his lead in brilliant fashion, playing solid golf and making clutch putts to win the Troon Series – Dubai Open presented by Turkish Airlines by four shots on Thursday.
At Dubai Hills Golf Club, the South African had a simple game plan going into the final round with a two-shot lead courtesy his record-breaking 61 on Wednesday (the lowest round on MENA Tour by Arena in relation to par) – avoid bogeys.
And he almost did that but for a solitary dropped shot on the 13th hole. However, five birdies ensured a card of four-under par 68 for the Dubai resident, taking his total to 19-under par 197, four better than second-placed Matthew Baldwin of England (70).
Professional Golf Tour of India – City Bank American Express Chittagong Open
India’s Rashid Khan completed his domination of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open 2019 with his final round heroics at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club (BGCC) on Saturday. The 28-year-old Rashid (65-66-70-63), the third round leader by two shots, produced a sizzling nine-under-63, the tournament’s best round, on day four, to win with a record total of 24-under-264 and an impressive seven-shot victory margin.
Khan thus became the first Indian to capture the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open title as the first two editions of the tournament were won by Bangladesh’s Md Siddikur Rahman and Sri Lanka’s N Thangaraja. Interestingly, Rashid’s last round 63 was just one short of compatriot and close friend Kapil Kumar’s course record from last year.
Asian Development Tour – PGM ADT Johor Championship
Pannakorn Uthaipas of Thailand overcame a four-shot deficit to win his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM ADT Johor Championship on Saturday.
The 28-year-old Pannakorn had a terrible start as he dropped a shot on the second hole, which distanced him and the overnight leader, Poom Pattaropong of Thailand, to six shots. However, the bogey sharpened Pannakorn's resolve and he began to attack the pin at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club.
The strategy worked, as he shot an eagle and five birdies before signing for a 20-under-par 268 total to win the tournament by two shots moving from World No.919 to 632.
Pro Golf Tour – Open Madaef Golfs
With three strong tournament rounds, a total of 17 under par and a lead of three strokes over Dutchman Max Albertus in second place, Moritz Lampert secured the title of Open Madaef Golfs 2019.
The German celebrated a convincing victory from start to finish and gained new self-confidence in Casa Green Golf Club in Morocco.
PGA Tour of Australasia – SEC NZ PGA Championship
Kazuma Kobori, a 17-year-old amateur, has won the SEC NZ PGA Championship to claim his first victory on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australia.
In a dominant performance at his home course, the Pegasus Golf and Sports Club member maintained an overnight lead to win by four shots from New Zealand’s David Smail with rounds of 67, 65, 66 and 69 for a tournament total of 21-under 267.
“It feels incredible,” said an ecstatic Kobori. “It hasn’t actually sunk in yet but I think it will later on.”
Pro Golf Tour – Open Royal Golf Anfa Mohammedia
After a brilliant final round of four under par 66, Edouard Dubois from France claimed the trophy of the Open Royal Golf Anfa Mohammedia 2019. Scoring a total 5 under par (69, 70, 66) on the demanding par 70 course of Royal-golf Anfa-Mohammedia in Morocco the 29 year old from Bordeaux won by two shots ahead of Benjamin Rusch from Switzerland (69, 67, 71/-3). Third place was shared by Darren Walkley from England and Max Albertus from the Netherlands who both scored 2 under par in total.
Pro Golf Tour – Open Madaef Golfs
With three strong tournament rounds, a total of 17 under par and a lead of three strokes over Dutchman Max Albertus in second place, Moritz Lampert secured the title of Open Madaef Golfs 2019. The German celebrated a convincing victory from start to finish and gained new self-confidence in Casa Green Golf Club in Morocco.