WEEK 20 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 9

STRAKA BECOMES FIRST AUSTRIAN TO WIN ON PGA TOUR

PGA Tour - The Honda Classic

Sepp Straka trailed by five shots entering the final round and tapped in for birdie in the rain on the final hole to beat Shane Lowry by one shot to become the first Austrian winner in PGA TOUR history. He shot a 4-under 66 on Sunday to finish at 10 under moving 93 spots to World No. 83.

Lowry shot his third consecutive round of 67, his 9 under total for the week coming up one short. First-round leader Kurt Kitayama (68) was alone in third at 8 under, and Daniel Berger — who led by six shots with 19 holes left in the tournament — simply fell apart Sunday, his round of 74 leaving him 7 under for the week and three shots behind Straka.

Lowry needed to make a 45-footer for birdie on the final hole to force a playoff. It missed, and with that, The Honda Classic had a new champion — one who came into the week ranked No. 176 in the world, has never been higher than No. 129 on that list, and whose claim to fame as a pro probably was being the first round leader at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

“The third round, I definitely didn’t have my best stuff,” Straka said. “I just hung in there and grinded out a good round. I hit the ball really nice today and really could take advantage.”

The victory ensures that Straka — who played his college golf at Georgia — will play the Masters in April. His wife took a flight in to be at the course on Sunday, just in case, and Straka hadn’t even seen her until he got to the practice green before teeing off.


Sunshine and Challenge Tour - Jonsson Workwear Open

JC Ritchie made it back-to-back wins after he secured a wire-to-wire six-shot victory at the Jonsson Workwear Open continuing his climb up the Ranking from the start of the year at World No. 304 to World No.151.

The ten-time Sunshine Tour winner posted a one under par final round of 71 at Durban Country Club to reach 26 under par and claim his second victory in as many weeks after successfully defending his Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open title last week.

Ritchie admitted he found it much tougher today but remained resilient to record two closing birdies and finish six shots clear of Belgium’s Christopher Mivis, who at one stage came within touching distance of the lead, reducing Ritchie’s advantage to two after an eagle at the 14th hole.

“It was tough out there today,” he said. “I’ve never played this golf course with this much wind before so I knew it was going to be different and the golf course showed its teeth today. I found it tough early on but luckily towards the end of the round I was able to figure it out and get the job done.

“My girlfriend came up to me after the 14th hole and asked me if I wanted to know the scores,” he added. “She told me Mivis was 22 under and that surprised me. I had a game plan for the last three holes for the week and that was to make par at 16 and run, I felt like I could create a birdie opportunity at 17 and then 18 owed me one. I wanted to birdie it yesterday but found a bad lie in the bunker. Getting two birdies on the way home made it extra special.”

Asian Tour - Royal's Cup 2022

Chinese-Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang claimed a magnificent wire-to-wire victory in the Royal’s Cup today to secure his second victory on the Asian Tour in the space of four months moving to World No. 234 from 388.

Chan closed with a four-under-par 68 to finish with an impressive winning total of 23 under for a three-shot win over Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana and American Sihwan Kim.

Sadom also returned a 68 while Sihwan fired a 70, in the second event of the season on the Asian Tour.

Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong and Bio Kim from Korea, finished three strokes further back, in a tie for fourth after rounds of 66 and 68 respectively.

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond closed with a 65 in a group of players tied sixth to suggest the 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion is starting to rediscover his best form.

It looked like being a much closer finish to the US$400,000 event when Chan Shih-chang started the day with a one-shot lead over Sihwan before the American drew level with him on 21 under after nine holes.

Professional Golf Tour of India - Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2022 presented by Gujarat Tourism

Karandeep Kochhar claimed the title on a dramatic final day at the Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2022 presented by Gujarat Tourism moving 134 spots to World No.441.

Chandigarh-based Karandeep (64-75-69-70), who was overnight tied fourth and two off the lead, came from behind with a steady two-under 70 on day four to sign off with a 10-under 278 total and wrap up his fourth title at the Rs. 40 lakh event.

Arjun Prasad (73-65-70-71), who like his good friend Kochhar was also overnight tied fourth, came within striking range of his maiden title before narrowly missing out. The Delhi golfer totaled nine-under 279 following a final round of 71 to secure his second runner-up finish on the PGTI.

Ranjit Singh of Chandigarh, the joint overnight leader, submitted a card of 74 to claim third place at eight-under 280.

Bengaluru’s M Dharma and Kapil Kumar of Delhi, the other two joint leaders after round three, shot scores of 75 to end the week in tied fourth place at seven-under 281.

Twenty-two-year-old Karandeep Kochhar, who secured second place on the PGTI Order of Merit last year courtesy his two wins, made a slow start with two birdies and two bogeys on the front-nine as his approach shot on the eighth was the highlight having landed within six feet to set up a birdie.

Alps Tour Golf - Ein Bay Open 2022

Italian Stefano Mazzoli, 25, kept the overnight lead during the 3rd final round at Sokhna Golf Club battling head to head till the 17th hole with Irishman Conor Purcell  to claim the victory of the Ein Bay Open 2022, the first stage of the Alps Tour Season 2022.

Mazzoli started his last round with 3 birdies on the first six holes but lost 2 shots on the 7th due to a double bogey. He came back on the back nine with 3 birdies on the last five holes. He scored just 3 bogeys and 1 double bogey during the whole tournament and saved strokes with 17 birdies and 1 eagle. He scored a total of 202 (69-65-68).

“This is my second victory in Egypt (after 2020 Red Sea Little Venice Open) and the third on the Alps Tour (2021 Antognolla Alps Open). I’m very happy about my start, I’ve played very well during the week. Today I scored a bad double bogey on the 7th where I ended in the water hazard but then I came back soon. It was almost a matchplay between me and Conor until the 17th where we finished on the green with the second shot but I ended up making a birdie and Conor three-putted. I’m very happy with my start here for the first stage of the Tour”.

Mazzoli earns a cheque of 5,800 euros and adds 6,525 points to lead the Order of Merit.

The prize for the second place (3,940 euros) went to Irishman Conor Purcell, 24, who was in 6th place just 2 shots behind the leader after day 2.