CANTLAY MOVES BACK INTO THE TOP 10
PGA Tour - ZOZO Championship @ Sherwood
Patrick Cantlay rallied from a four-shot deficit and surged into the lead with four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine. He closed with a 7-under 65 and held on for a one-shot victory over Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas moving back into the World Top 10 at World 9.
It was the third victory of his career, and first in his home state of California. All three required making up deficits of three shots or more in the final round.
“I put in a lot of work and try to do the right things all the time, so when it all does come together, it's really rewarding because it's all that hard work paying off," Cantlay said.
He was looking to join what had been shaping up as a duel between Rahm and Thomas, the Nos. 2 and 3 players in the world. Instead, Cantlay surged past them with three straight birdies — a 3-wood to the fringe on the par-5 13th that set up a simple two-putt, a 7-iron to 18 feet on the next hole and the most exquisite shot of his final round on the par-3 15th.
With a three-quarter 7-iron to a front pin over a tiny rock-lined lagoon, the ball landed next to the hole and rolled out to 10 feet for his ninth birdie of the round, and only the fifth birdie at No. 15 on Sunday.
“That's a hard hole and to make a birdie,” he said. “It was just one of those swings where you make the swing exactly how you picture it in your head.”
That gave him a three-shot cushion, and his challengers never caught up.
European Tour – Italian Open
Ross McGowan birdied two of his last three holes to win his second European Tour title at the 2020 Italian Open, earning 24 Ranking Points jumping 318 spots to World No.242.
The Englishman entered the final day at Chervò Golf Club alongside countryman Laurie Canter three shots clear of the field but they were reeled in on a dramatic afternoon in Brescia.
At one point late in the day there were eight players within one shot of the lead before McGowan holed a spectacular bunker shot at the 16th to knock Canter out of the lead for the first time in over 72 hours.
Canter hit back with a birdie from six feet on the par three 17th but McGowan put his third into the par five last to 20 feet and holed the putt for a 71, a 20 under par total and a one shot victory over Canter and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.
German Sebastian Heisele finished at 18 under, a shot clear of countryman and two time Major Champion Martin Kaymer, Spaniard Adri Arnaus, South African Dean Burmester, Northern Ireland's Jonathan Caldwell and Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan.
McGowan came within a whisker of making the European Ryder Cup team in 2010 after a 2009 season that saw him claim that first win at the Madrid Masters and finish 12th on the Race to Dubai.
KPGA Korean Tour - BIZPLAY-Electronic Times OPEN with TAMEUS CC
Wonjoon Lee of Australia won a second Korean Tour victory at the BIZPLAY-Electronic Times OPEN with TAMEUS CC.
Lee earned 9 Ranking points moving to World No. 346 from 505, he also rose to 5th place in the Genesis Point Ranking.
PGA Tour of Australasia - Tailor-made Building Services NT PGA Championship
Aaron Pike claimed a home-town win at the Tailor-Made Building Services NT PGA Championship moving to World No. 435 from 546.
Palmerston Golf and Country Club, a course where he played his junior golf, Pike was the sentimental favourite going into the final round but had to get past one of his house guests for the week to claim the iconic crocodile head trophy and a second ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia title.
Starting the final round level at the top with New South Wales amateur Nathan Barbieri, Pike’s chip-in for eagle helped to propel him to a four-stroke lead midway through the front nine. He maintained a three-shot buffer until a late surge from Michael Sim narrowed the gap at the top of the leaderboard.
A birdie putt from 12 feet at the par-4 15th got Sim back to within two of his host but it wasn’t until he holed a bunker shot at the par-3 16th that the prospect of winning suddenly seemed possible.
An approach shot to eight feet at the final hole set up a third birdie in the space of four holes that would give Sim the clubhouse lead at 12-under, Pike missing his own birdie chance from 15 feet on the final hole to necessitate another trip down the 18th.
Both players failed to find the fairway with their tee shots and when Sim caught a flyer with a 9-iron out of the rough from 136m and ran out of golf course, Pike was left with a relatively simple task to make par and claim victory.
“Winning is always special, winning around here is going to mean that little bit more,” admitted Pike, one of only three players to break 70 in all three rounds this week.
“I had my oldest brother Michael caddieing for me so that’s something that I’m unlikely to ever get the opportunity to go through again.
“I had all my family watching so it does mean a little bit more, I just could never acknowledge that until the end.
Sunshine Tour - Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge
Merrick Bremner battled some of the toughest conditions he’s ever experienced on a golf course to win the Sunshine Tour’s Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge by a single shot at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club on Friday.
Bremner closed with an incredible round of 64 to win on eight-under-par 202. Keenan Davidse and Jacques Blaauw took second place on seven under, each with final rounds of 68. Keith Horne also signed for a 68 to finish fourth on six under par.
In very difficult conditions typical of the Wild Coast Sun course, Bremner did exceptionally well to not make a single bogey in his final round as he claimed his seventh victory on the Sunshine Tour.
“You know, I gave myself the right opportunities. We were never thinking about keeping bogeys off the card. We were just thinking about giving ourselves as many birdie opportunities as possible,” he said of a round that included three birdies on each nine.
But as easy as he may have made it look, Bremner gave some perspective to the conditions they were faced with.
“It really started gusting quite hard towards the last 30 minutes of the round. It was brutal. I can’t explain it. If you mishit it just slightly, the ball just went nowhere. There were crosswinds that just accentuate any mistake you make. You had to be on top of your game and hit quality shots to make a score.”
Abema TV Tour - Delight Works Challenge
Hideto Kobukuro won the Delight works Challenge, earning 4 Ranking points moving from World No. 1967 to 954
Big Easy Tour - Big Easy Road To #1 – Services
Nineteen-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad member, Ryan Van Velzen signed for a final-round three-under-par 69 to win the Big Easy Road To #1 at Services GC on 16-under-par 200 for his maiden victory on Wednesday.
Leading by one getting into the final round, thanks to an aggressive approach he’d taken in the opening two rounds of this first event of the Big Easy Tour season, Van Velzen seemed to have changed his strategy in the final round.
“I just tried to stay patient and concentrate on what I was doing,” said Van Velzen, “and it paid off eventually. I made the GolfRSA Squad earlier this year and I’ve never won on the IGT Tour or Big Easy so this is huge for me.”
His round of 69 was as solid as the first two rounds despite the difference in the scores. His lonesome birdie on the second hole was cancelled out by the bogey he made on the par-three sixth to make it an even-par front nine for Van Velzen.
On the back nine, the 9th ranked amateur in South Africa turned things up, birdieing both the par-five 12th and 18th holes as well as the par-three 15th to claim a two-shot victory over the trio of Warwick Purchase, an amateur himself, Dylan Kok and Vaughn Van Deventer.
“I’ve had a few upsets this year so it feels really awesome to win against some good competition,” admitted Van Velzen with some relief following his win.