MCILROY MOVES TO WORLD NO.4
PGA Tour – The PLAYERS Championship
Rory McIlroy made two late birdies amid the wild theatrics of Sunday at THE PLAYERS Championship and closed with a 2-under 70.
McIlroy, a former FedExCup champion, earned 600 FedExCup points, a $2.25 million check and is the proud owner of the redesigned PLAYERS trophy.
McIlroy could not afford to make a mistake over the final hour because of Jim Furyk, 48, nearly pulled off a stunner. Furyk, one of the last players to get in the strongest field in golf, capped off a 67 with a shot so good into the 18th that he started walking when he hit it. It plopped down 3 feet from the hole for a birdie to take the lead.
McIlroy, one of eight players to have at least a share of the lead in the final round, was coming off a bogey on the 14th to fall behind and was in trouble with a tee shot that found a bunker right of the fairway. He responded with his best shot of the day to 15 feet for birdie.
Then, McIlroy hit the longest drive of the round on the par-5 16th, leaving him a 9-iron from a good lie in the rough to set up a two-shot birdie and the lead.
Most important, he found dry land on the par-3 17th, the Island Green that never looks smaller than on Sunday at THE PLAYERS.
He was solid to the end on a chilly, cloudy day and finished at 16-under 272 to win THE PLAYERS on his 10th try.
"This is probably the deepest field of the year, with so much on the line," McIlroy, 29, said. "I'm thankful it was my turn this week."
Furyk didn't know he was in THE PLAYERS until one week ago, and he was on the verge of winning until McIlroy came through in the end. Furyk started the back nine with two birdies to get in the mix and finished strong. His only regret was a 3-foot par putt on the 15th.
Even so, it showed he has plenty of game left. The runner-up finish moves him high enough in the rankings to qualifying for the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in two weeks.
European Tour – Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa
Guido Migliozzi showed nerves of steel down the back nine to claim his maiden European Tour title at the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa moving from 576 to World No.199.
The Qualifying School graduate was in uncharted territory at Karen Country Club, playing just his 14th European Tour event with no previous top tens to his name.
He has three wins on the Alps Tour, however, and the Italian drew on those experiences to card a 69 and get to 16 under, one shot clear of playing partner Adri Arnaus and South Africans Louis de Jager and Justin Harding.
Arnaus and Migliozzi put on a stunning show in the penultimate group on day three and they went head to head again on Sunday, with De Jager, Harding, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Kalle Samooja all also sharing the lead during the course of a thrilling final day.
But it was the 22-year-old who prevailed, getting his nose in front at the 12th and parring his last six holes under incredible pressure to take the title.
Bhullar finished at 14 under, a shot clear of Samooja and Frenchman Romain Langasque.
Migliozzi follows in the footsteps of Major Champions Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam and Trevor Immelman in winning this event on its debut on the European Tour, and becomes the second consecutive Italian winner after Lorenzo Gagli last season on the European Challenge Tour.
"I like this moment," he said. "I like the pressure, it's like a drug. I love pressure, I love playing with a lot of people looking at me and a lot of cameras.
"There was a lot of pressure on the course. After the birdie at the 12th I was leading but it was tough. I just kept patient towards the end, that was it.
Asian Development Tour - PGM UMW ADT Championship
Japan’s Kazuki Higa secured his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title with a superb seven-under-par 65 in the final round of the PGM UMW ADT Championship on Saturday moving up 55 spots to World No.258.
The 23-year-old Higa finished tied-second at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club last week but made sure he would not take another runner-up finish when he cruised to a six-shot victory at the same venue with his four-day winning total of 22-under-par 266.
Compatriot Naoki Sekito signed for a 67 to share second place with overnight leader Shintaro Kobayashi who closed with a disappointing 72 at the RM225,000 (approximately US$54,000) event.
Malaysian’s Ben Leong was the highest-placed local when he ended his campaign with a 72 to finish in tied-fourth with four other players.
Starting the day one shot off the pace, Higa dropped a shot on his second hole but recovered quickly with a birdie on hole three. He went on to nail birdies on holes six, eight and nine to make the turn in 33.
“I wasn’t happy with how I was hitting it yesterday so I did some work at the range after my game and it really helped my round today. I stayed consistent and was hitting shots exactly how I wanted to,” said Higa, who claimed his maiden ADT victory last April in Bangladesh.
The Japanese trusted his abilities and extended his advantage with further birdies on holes 11, 12, 16 and 18 for a 32 in his homeward nine.
“I knew I was so close to getting a win last week and that really gave me the motivation I needed to get the job done today. I just told myself to trust myself and not think about how other people were playing,” added Higa, who moved up to third place on the Merit rankings.
Mena Golf Tour – Troon Series – Royal Golf Bahrain Open
Robin Roussel won the Troon Series – Royal Golf Bahrain Open on Wednesday moving to a career best of world No.606.
At the Royal Golf Club in Manama, the Frenchman made a bogey on his final hole but a one-over 73 round was good enough for a one-shot victory at 12-under par total.
Roussel, who opened with rounds of 65 and 66 and rarely struggled on the demanding golf course, courted trouble several times during his final round. He started with an early double bogey on the second hole and even though birdies on the 4th, 9th and 12th got him back to red numbers, he had to knuckle down and make a courageous par on the par-5 13th and then made a bogey on the par-5 14th – two holes that he birdied in the second round.
Professional Golf Tour India - Bengal Open 2019 presented by Department of Tourism, Govt of West Bengal powered by Tollygunge Club
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah stole the show with a sensational 63 on final day; Zamal went 15-under and error-free on last two days to clinch first title in India and break seven-year winless streak.
34-year-old Zamal, made a relatively slow start to the event with scores of 68 and 69 to languish at tied 39th at the halfway stage, came roaring back with remarkable bogey-free efforts of eight-under-62 and seven-under-63 over the next two days to clinch the title by one shot at 18-under-262.
The victory was all the sweeter for Zamal (68-69-62-63), who gained 11 places on the last day, as it happened to be his first in India and also brought an end to his painful seven-year winless streak on the TATA Steel PGTI.
Delhi’s Honey Baisoya (64-64-65-70), the overnight leader by two shots, couldn’t replicate his form from the previous rounds as he shot a sedate 70 to settle for second place at 17-under-263 at the Rs. 30 lakh event.
Zamal Hossain Mollah, lying overnight 12th and six off the lead, didn’t look threatening in the early stages of round four as he managed just two birdies on the front-nine, both long conversions on the second and fifth. But his flurry of four consecutive birdies from the 10th to the 13th, thanks to a hot putter, put him firmly in contention.
The Dhaka-based Mollah’s chipping form also helped his cause as he played a couple of exquisite chip shots to set up short putts for birdies on the 13th and 15th and another short putt for the all-important par on the 18th. He thus ended up with the day’s best score for the second day in succession.