MCILROY MOVES BACK INTO THE WORLD TOP 10
PGA Tour – THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT
Rory McIlroy surged past Rickie Fowler and held off Collin Morikawa to win THE CJ CUP @ SUMMIT for his 13th PGA TOUR victory jumping back into the World Top 10 to World No. 8.
McIlroy seized control with a 35-foot eagle putt from just off the green on the par-5 14th and then playing mistake-free down the stretch for a 6-under 66 and a one-victory.
Fowler, who started the final round with a two-shot lead as he tried to end nearly three years without a victory, faded with a pair of three-putts and shot 71 to tie for third. The threat came from Morikawa, a member at The Summit Club, who shot 29 on the front to get in the mix and closed with an eagle for a 62.
That forced McIlroy to play mistake-free after his big eagle putt on the 14th, and he never came close to a bogey in finishing at 25-under 263.
“It is a big carrot,” McIlroy said of the 20 wins. “I didn't know it would be this week.”
He went into the weekend nine shots out of the lead, made up plenty of ground with a 62 on Saturday and then pulled away by taking advantage of the scoring holes.
It was similar to his first win on the PGA TOUR in 2010 at Quail Hollow. McIlroy was nine shots behind going into the weekend at that tournament and closed with rounds of 66-62 to win.
Morikawa was watching from the balcony overlooking the 18th green to see if he would get a chance for extra holes, though it was asking a lot for McIlroy to drop a shot on the par-5 closing hole. McIlroy laid back off the tee, played short of the green and hit wedge to the back pin to assure a two-putt par and another trophy.
European Tour - Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters
Matt Fitzpatrick produced a brilliant, nerveless final round of 69 to conquer Real Club Valderrama and win his seventh European Tour title at the 2021 Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters moving to World No. 25 from 28.
The Englishman entered the final round three shots off the lead but as many around him succumbed to the test of the 1997 Ryder Cup venue, Fitzpatrick made 15 straight pars to keep himself right in contention.
Birdies on the 16th and 17th then put him in total control and he finished at six under, three shots clear of Australian Min Woo Lee and Swede Sebastian Soderberg.
English trio Laurie Canter, James Morrison and Robert Rock, Swede Alexander Björk, Kiwi Ryan Fox, American David Lipsky and Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti finished at two under, with just 14 players under par.
Canter led by three at the start of the day and was eight under after five holes but signed for a 76, while Soderberg led by two at six under stood on the 17th tee but dropped three shots in the final two holes in a 70, a score matched by Lee.
Fitzpatrick claimed his first European Tour victory in his rookie season in 2015 and has only ever gone winless once in 2019 - when he finished second four times - finishing in the top 25 on the Race to Dubai in each of his seven seasons, including a second place finish in 2020.
Japan Golf Tour - Japan Open Golf Championship
South Africa’s Shaun Norris won the Japan Open at Biwako Country Club with a record total of 19-under par, four strokes ahead of Japan’s Yuta Ikeda. Norris jumps back into the World Top 100 moving from World No.150 to 86.
The 39-year-old claims his first Japan Open title and his sixth win on the Japan Golf Tour.
Challenge Tour – Empordà Challenge
Julien Brun carded a final round 69 to secure his second title on the 2021 Road to Mallorca at the Empordà Challenge moving 46 spots to World No. 133.
England’s Jonathan Thomson took the early clubhouse lead, posting a nine under par round of 62, but Frenchman Brun held his nerve down the stretch as he carded his third birdie of the day on the tenth hole and parred the remaining eight holes for a wire-to-wire victory.
The 29-year-old added to his 2012 ALLIANZ Golf Open Toulouse Metropole title and his Open de Bretagne victory from earlier this season, with this win made more special with his father by his side as caddie.
“This one is very sweet,” he said. “I was in the lead all week like the first one and it was very sweet to have my dad on the bag.
“It was very nice to share that with him, that’ll be good memories for us and I’m sure he had a good time. I am very happy to share that with him.”
Playing in the group ahead, Swede Jesper Svensson had joined Brun on 18 under par, but a bogey-bogey finish put paid to his bid for a maiden European Challenge Tour title as Brun held on for victory.
“Some of the guys came from behind and shot some very low scores,” said Brun. “I thought that would be very difficult with the pin placements and course set up. We never really got it going in the last group so we couldn’t really feed off each other. It wasn’t easy but just to get it done that’s all that matters.
Sunshine Tour - Blue Label Challenge
Lyle Rowe won his first Sunshine Tour title in five years at the Blue Label Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club jumping 1396 spots in the Ranking to World No. 439.
Rowe, one point off the lead going into the final round, shot a three-under-par 69 on Saturday for nine points, taking his overall tally over the four days to 33 points in the event that uses a modified Stableford scoring system.
That was four points clear – the equivalent of two birdies – of second-placed Dylan Mostert and was enough to give Rowe his third Sunshine Tour title and his first since winning the Zimbabwe Open in April 2016.
“I’ve been playing well for a while now and I just knew I needed to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Rowe said. “It’s just a couple of shots every tournament and even though I didn’t make it easy for myself, I kept giving myself chances. I’ve gone back to the short putter, which gives me more feel, so I’ve been putting well and I’ve just been doing the right things mentally, controlling what I can on the course.”
It was also the Humewood golfer’s first win on South African soil as his other triumph came in the Zambia Open in June 2014.
Professional Golf Tour of India - Jaipur Open
Khalin Joshi turned the tables on final day to emerge victorious at Jaipur Open 2021 Presented by Rajasthan Tourism moving back into the World Top 500 to World No. 497.
Khalin Joshi’s final round of three-under 67 proved good enough for him to turn the tables on nearest rival and fellow Bengalurean M Dharma and emerge victorious at the Rs. 40 lakh Jaipur Open 2021 Presented by Rajasthan Tourism being played at the par-70 Rambagh Golf Club (RGC).
Joshi (61-66-64-67), who made a dramatic three-putt from four feet on the last hole to end the tournament with a bogey, won by one shot as he totaled 22-under 258 for the week.
Khalin’s fifth career title ended his three-year long victory drought. The 29-year-old Joshi, who hails from the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course, overcame the disappointment of his runner-up finish in Delhi last week as he bagged a winning cheque worth Rs. 6,46,600 to move up from fifth to third in the PGTI Order of Merit. He made six birdies and three bogeys on the last day.
Dharma (62-62-65-70), the overnight leader by two shots, slipped to second place with an even-par 70 on the last day as he struggled to hole putts. He ended the week with a total of 21-under 259.
Nordic Golf League - MoreGolf Mastercard Tour Final at PGA Sweden National
Sebastian Petersen from Sjöbo Golfklubb won the MoreGolf Mastercard Tour Final at PGA Sweden National by two strokes ahead of Charlie Lindh.
Petersen earned 4 Ranking points moving from World No.879 to 620.
Alps Tour Golf - Emilia-Romagna Alps Tour Grand Final
Victor Garcia Broto from Spain held steady to stay at the top of the leader board for the three days and claim victory in a two-way play-off against the Italian amateur Riccardo Bregoli. Garcia Broto, who entered the Ranking for the first this year, moves to a career best of 706.
“I’m really happy with the way I played. I’d like to thank the Alps Tour as this is my first season with them. I started as an amateur, turned pro in the middle of the season and this is a fantastic way to end”.
The play-off on the 18th hole, saw Bregoli take the riskier right-hand fairway and, unfortunately, find the water. Garcia Broto took the safer route via the left-hand fairway, played a second safe shot and put his third just off the back of the green to chip on to be less than a metre from the hole. Bregoli’s fourth shot found the rough and he hit the green for five. Three putts to sink the ball, giving him triple bogey, he could only congratulate the Spanish player who sank his putt for par.
A real home-crowd pleaser as witnessed by the supporters on the 18th green, Bregoli was obviously disappointed but remained positive :
“This has been my home club for sixteen years since I started to play golf and I really appreciated playing here and to play well”.
Modena Golf & Country Club member, Jacopo Vecchi Fossa received the trophy as winner of the 2021 OofM. He receives one of the 5 full cards on the Challenge Tour for next year.