WEEK 25 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 21

KEVIN NA MOVES TO WORLD NO.31

PGA Tour - Charles Schwab Challenge

Kevin Na birdied four of the first eight holes and shot a 4-under 66 for a four-shot victory over Tony Finau on Sunday on the cozy course made famous by Ben Hogan, securing his third career PGA TOUR win and second in 10 months.

"On the first tee, I saw that wall, looked at the names, right below Justin Rose," Na said, referring to the defending champion. "And in my head, I engraved my name on it. I was just trying to visualize success before I teed off."

Na opened with a two-shot lead and was in front by at least that many for the final 16 holes after putting his second shot inside 5 feet for birdie at the par-4 second. Na finished 13 under after a bow-tying birdie at 18.

The win came after Na put himself in contention with a second-round 62, one off the Colonial record. That low round was a year after tying that course-record 61 in the final round to finish fourth.

Na, who has made 10 cuts in 11 Colonial appearances since withdrawing in the first round of his debut in 2004, had three scores of 62 or better in a span of six rounds. Then he added a pair of solid scores that were more than enough to keep anybody from getting close.

"They say this is a golf course that I've had the most leads in a tournament," said Na, who pulled away despite opening with a pedestrian even-par 70 in difficult conditions. "So it tells you how much I like this place and how well I've played here."

Local favorite Jordan Spieth's strong putting disappeared in a 2-over 72 as the Dallas native finished eight shots back to remain without a victory since the 2017 Open Championship.

Jim Furyk's hopes faded when he found the water for double bogey at the par-3 13th on the way to a 73. The 17-time TOUR winner's last title was at Hilton Head in 2015.

Finau briefly was within a shot of Na early in the round, and the first-round leader was two back when Na birdied 14 about the same time Finau had a bogey at 16 to push the lead to four. Finau, looking for his second career win three years after his first, closed with a 68.

"He wasn't letting up, so I knew I was going to have to make three or four birdies coming in," Finau said. "I gave myself the looks to do it. Just wasn't able to make it happen."

Andrew Putnam (66) and C.T. Pan (69) finished at 8 under, a stroke ahead of second-round leader Jonas Blixt (68).

 

Web.com - Evans Scholars Invitational

Scottie Scheffler rallied from a six-shot deficit to claim his first Web.com Tour title at the Evans Scholars Invitational. The Web.com Tour rookie defeated Marcelo Rozo on the second playoff hole at The Glen Club. Scheffler posted a final-round 9-under 63 to force the playoff and drained a 15-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to capture his first professional win.

“It feels great. It’s been a good season so far and it’s nice to get my first professional win out here,” Scheffler said. “To get the first professional win is awesome, and it kind of gets the monkey off my back. Hopefully, it’ll lead to some bigger things to come this year.”

Scheffler, who started the final round six shots behind leader Marcelo Rozo, recorded birdies on his first two holes. He added another birdie on No. 5 and closed his front nine with four consecutive pars. When Scheffler made the turn, the University of Texas alum caught fire, and recorded birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 to start his final nine. After a par on No. 12, Scheffler added birdies on Nos. 13, 14, 15 and 17 and was suddenly at the top of the leaderboard. His bogey-free 9-under 63 matched the low round of the day, and tied the course record in relation to par.

“I hit a great drive on No. 10, I played it really aggressively today,” Scheffler said. “I hit a bad iron shot on No. 11 and chipped-in, so that kind of got me rolling. I made an awesome 8-foot putt on No. 15, that was one that really got the momentum going. I hit a great shot into No. 17 and had a tough up-and-down (for birdie) on No. 18 but couldn’t convert. I was fortunate that Marcelo made a mistake coming down the stretch.”

After playing his front nine at even-par, 54-hole leader Marcelo Rozo rallied on his back nine with birdies on Nos. 10, 11 and 14. Rozo recaptured the solo-lead with a birdie on par-4 15th, but gave the birdie right back after failing to get up-and-down on the par-4 16th. Heading to the 17th tee, he was again tied with Scheffler. Rozo failed to make a birdie on his final two holes and finished at 17-under 271. 

On the first playoff hole, both Scheffler and Rozo had lengthy looks at birdie. Scheffler missed his attempt and left the door open for Rozo, who was also unable to convert. The two headed back to the par-5 18th tee box, to try and determine a winner.


European Tour - Made in Denmark presented by FREJA

Bernd Wiesberger won his fifth European Tour title after a thrilling final day battle with Robert MacIntyre at the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA.

The Austrian started the day a shot clear of his playing partner at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort but the duo could not be separated after 15 holes, with both men producing some stunning golf.

Wiesberger hit a wonderful tee shot to birdie the par three 16th and, with MacIntyre going out of bounds off the 17th tee, the 33-year-old took a two shot lead up the 18th.

He then made a bogey on the last after finding a hazard off the tee to sign for a 66, a 14 under par total, and a one shot victory as his Scottish rival made a par.

Frenchman Romain Langasque carded a 66 to finish at 11 under, two shots clear of Ireland's Paul Dunne, Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal, English pair Chris Paisley and Oliver Wilson, and German Max Schmitt.

Wiesberger was out for seven months last year due to a wrist injury but is now back in the winner's circle in his 13th event since making his comeback on the 2019 Race to Dubai.

"I didn't expect it all, I had a rough year last year. Winning is never easy," he said. "It's up there. Thinking about what was going on in the last year.

"I had so many great people helping me and getting me back to where I am right now. I've had so much support, it's been amazing, and I'm proud to pay it back that way. I'm so thankful to so many people who have been there for me in the last year.

"It's been such a great week here, I've enjoyed myself so much. I've loved the way I've started playing."

 

Challenge Tour - D+D REAL Czech Challenge

Ross McGowan returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in four years as he clinched a wire-to-wire victory at the D+D REAL Czech Challenge.

The Englishman’s last win came on the Sunshine Tour in 2015 and following rounds of 66-66-66-68 for an 18 under par total he secured a four-stroke triumph and his third European Challenge Tour title.

After sharing the lead at the end of the opening round, the 37-year-old broke away to take control at Kaskáda Golf Resort, holding a two-shot advantage ahead of the final day. He quickly extended his lead on Sunday with consecutive birdies on the fourth and fifth holes, reaching the turn bogey-free as he surged toward the title in Brno.

His third gain of the day came at the par four 13th to stretch the lead to three shots, and even when the 2009 Madrid Masters champion made a bogey on the 16th, he gained it back on the following hole.

With his closest rival Ricardo Santos dropping a shot on the last, McGowan, who finished second and third in the 2015 and 2014 D+D REAL Czech Challenge events, respectively, calmly two-putted for par to claim his first win in Europe for ten years.

“I played a couple of the events at the course in Dříteč and finished second and third there, so it’s nice to go one better and win the tournament,” he said.

“It was a strange day because no one was really making a charge at me and I was ticking along, hitting fairways and greens. I was expecting someone to have a few birdies out there, but the pins were tough. I kept hitting it to within 15-20 feet, two putting for par, and then moving on. 


Japan Golf Tour - Kansai Open Golf Championship

Tomoharu Otsuki won the Kansai Open Golf Championship following a playoff against Rikuya Hoshino.

Otsuki moves from World No. 622 to World No. 270.

KPGA Korean Tour - KB Finance Liiv Championship

Hyungseok Seo won the KB Finance Liiv Championship 3 shots ahead of his closest challenger, Soomin Lee.

Seo moves from World No. 734 to World No. 407.


Alps Tour Golf - Memorial Giorgio Bordoni

It is in stressful moments that you can see if a player has the makings of a winner, and this is what Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez showed on his last hole at Golf Club La Pinetina, during the last round of Memorial Giorgio Bordoni when, with a 2-strokes margin and after sending out of bounds his tee shot, he immediately found back his composure and made a birdie with the second ball, thus finishing with a 64 (-6) today and an aggregate of 198 (68-66-64, -12).

Meanwhile, Italian Edoardo Lipparelli – leader of the first two days and for a good part of the last one – was playing a less sparkling round and his advantage was narrowing hole after hole following Garcia’s birdies. The Spaniard was playing a couple of holes in front of Lipparelli, having started the last round at -6 ; the overtaking happened at hole 13, with the second bogey of the day for Lipparelli and the 6th birdie for Garcia; Lipparelli’s birdie at hole 14th, followed by four pars, were not enough to catch experienced Garcia, leaving the Spaniard the chance to grab his second title of 2019 season only five weeks after winning the previous tournament in Italy, Abruzzo Open.

Garcia Rodriguez, 30, finished one stroke clear of Lipparelli (62-68-69, 199 -11) and two of young Frenchman rookie Pierre Pineau, 19, third with 201 (66-66-69, -9), one of the most consistent of our “golf rising stars”, now number 14 in the Order of Merit after 9 tournaments (4 steps up in the last one).

“I’m very proud of the good work I’ve done to come at this point” said Garcia, “I think that the Challenge Tour card for 2020 is now guaranteed ; still, I want to play the rest of the season wisely, trying to win the ranking. I’ve played very well the whole week, some stupid shots like everybody else, but all the part of my game were solid and consistent. I made less mistakes today compared to yesterday when I’ve made a lot of birdies, but also a lot of mistakes. It is so nice that I’ve won in Italy again!”.


PGA Tour Series China - Nantong Championship

Kevin Techakanokboon made an eight-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole of a playoff to defeat Stephen Lewton and win the Nantong Championship. Techakanokboon began the day a stroke behind 54-hole leader Max McGreevy and turned in a stellar final day, shooting a Sunday 67 at Nantong Yangtze River Golf Club. But a disappointing bogey on his last hole of regulation made Techakanokboon work a little harder for his second Tour title that goes with his 2018 Zhuhai Championship triumph. 

To get to the playoff, a lot of action took place on the 72nd hole of the tournament. On the tee, Techakanokboon held a one-shot lead over McGreevy and a two-shot advantage on Lewton. But Lewton gave himself a chance by sinking a 38-foot birdie putt to move to 17-under. Techakanokboon faced an eight-foot par putt that would have given him the win, but he missed, a bogey that dropped him to 17-under. McGreevy couldn’t join the playoff when he bogeyed the 18th. He finished third, at 16-under.

In the playoff, both contested on the course’s 18th hole, Techakanokboon and Lewton parred the first extra hole, with Techakanokboon prevailing on his third playing of the 18th hole in the previous 45 minutes when Lewton couldn’t make his 30-foot birdie effort.

“I’m pretty pleased. You can’t be too mad about it,” a smiling Techakanokboon said. “I just wanted to come out and play well. I didn’t have expectations or anything. There are a lot of positives to this one.” 

For all of Sunday, it was essentially a three-player race between Techakanokboon, McGreevy and Lewton. Through 10 holes, McGreevy held a one-shot lead over Techakanokboon—three clear of Lewton. His lead could have been more, but McGreevy missed a four-foot birdie putt at No. 10.

Techakanokboon finally drew even with McGreevy when he birdied 13, the duo sharing a one-stroke lead over Lewton. All three stayed that way until No. 16 when Techakanokboon pulled ahead with an easy tap-in birdie at the par-3, almost making a hole-in-one. Lewton, too, birdied the hole to move to 17-under and a tie with McGreevy. Lewton dropped a shot at the 17th before his final-hole heroics. The short miss at No. 10 typified McGreevy’s back-nine putting. He missed several birdie chances coming in but none more painful than the three-and-a-half footer he couldn’t sink on 18 that would have given him a spot in the playoff.

 

Nordic Golf League - Elisefarm Open

After 54 holes, four players finished 207, nine under par, Micke Lindberg, Niclas Johansson, Gustav Adell and Danish Niklas Nørgaard Møller.

Gustav Adell won the Elisefarm Open with a birdie on the first extra playoff hole.

Adell moves from World No.940 to World No.655.

 

PGA Tour Canada - Canada Life Open

Sunday five-strokes behind leader James Allenby, 24-year old Jake Knapp plotted his way around Point Grey Golf & Country Club, firing a final-round 64 to claim his first Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada victory at the Canada Life Open. 

Knapp’s four-day total of 267, 21-under par, set the Canada Life Open tournament record, breaking Lee McCoy’s mark of 268, 20-under par, from 2017.

“It probably hasn’t sunk in quite yet,” said Knapp. “I got to Facetime my parents for a minute and my brother, but I think when I talk to them about what actually happened, it’ll sink in a bit more for sure.”

Plagued with injuries in recent years, Knapp described the past few seasons as a “long and tough road” and was quick to give credit to his entire team who helped him battle his way back into full competition mode.

“I love my parents, I can’t thank them enough for everything they do for me,” said the 57th-ranked player from the 2017 Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit. “They put up with me 24/7 and help me with travel and everything else. For them to stick with me through it all means the world and I can’t thank them and my team and my family enough.”

 In contention for the duration of the week following an opening-round 65, Knapp lost some ground to the field due to a 2-under par 70 on Saturday and figured it would take a round similar to the one he played today in order to get the job done.

 

PGA Tour LatinoAmerica - 60 Abierto Mexicano de Golf 

Despite shooting PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s only 59 in history, Canadian Drew Nesbitt had never finished a tournament better than tied for 21st. That stat nugget became irrelevant Sunday when Nesbitt fired a final-round 62 at Tijuana Country Club to win the Abierto Mexicano de Golf by two shots over Norway’s Andreas Halvorsen and Chile’s Gustavo Silva.

The win catapulted Nesbitt from 85th on the Order of Merit when the week began to No. 9. Besides the $31,500 payday, Nesbitt also qualified for next week’s Bupa Match Play, open to the top-60 money-winners through this week’s tournament. Nesbitt, completing his round about an hour before the final group finished, closed the tournament in style, banging home a 45-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to post at 17-under, a total no one could match. He then waited around the clubhouse to see if his number would hold up. It did.

“Those are the moments as a kid you dream of. You watch on TV and those Tiger (Woods) moments when he makes those long putts. You hope one day that can be you, and today was that day,” said Nesbitt of both his win and his final stroke of the tournament. “It just turned out that I hit a great putt, and it went in.

“It was the cap off to a perfect week,” continued Nesbitt, whose previous-best PGA TOUR Latinoamérica finish was that tie for 21st in Argentina earlier this season, at the Molino Cañuelas Championship. He tied for 49th at the JHSF Brazil Open last September, the week of his second-round 59.

 

EuroPro Tour – The IFX Payments Championship

Former English amateur champion Todd Clements has won the opening event of the PGA EuroPro Tour, The IFX Payments Championship at Brocket Hall, Welwyn Garden City.

Attached to Brocket Hall itself, Clements went to sixteen under with a final round of 67  to clinch the title with his nearest competitor, Andrew Wilson of Rockcliffe Hall, finishing up on fourteen under.

Clements, who came through Q School tied 12th, was on form and consistent throughout hitting three rounds of 68 in his first two rounds.

Todd Clements on his debut victory said: “I really enjoyed. Really well run event. The course was in great condition and a good well run event is always going to be a success.”

Going into the final round: “I’ve always tried to do one shot at a time and hopefully, I’m in contention. Then go through the nine holes and you know, make the decision do I go for it or not.”

On the end: “A lot of relief really. Been under a lot of stress, five hours is a long round of golf. A bit more of relief. Enjoy it with my team and family tonight and let it settle in.”