WEEK 24 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 18

BURNS BREAKS INTO THE TOP 50

PGA Tour – Valspar Championship

Sam Burns wins his first PGA TOUR title at Valspar Championship with a three-shot victory. Burns breaks into the World Top 50 for the first time at World No. 44.Burns built a quick two-shot lead on the front nine Sunday. Keegan Bradley answered with a pair of birdies, and then made a 15-foot birdie putt from the fringe on No. 9 to take a one-shot lead to the back nine.

The final round started to take shape on the par-5 11th, both hitting wild tee shots and good escapes from the trees. Burns won the wedge contest, making a 15-footer for birdie, to tie for the lead. Bradley fell back with his double bogey and never caught up.

European Tour – Tenerife Open

Dean Burmester claimed his first win in just over four years as a bogey free closing 62 handed him a dominant five shot victory at the 2021 Tenerife Open moving from World No.168 to 107.

The South African entered the day at Golf Costa Adeje one off the lead but hit the front on the seventh and never looked back, moving to 25 under and holding off the challenge of Germany's Nicolai Von Dellingshausen, Pole Adrian Meronk and Finn Kalle Samooja.

Meronk carded a 67 and Samooja a 69 to supply the main threat throughout the day and both finished at 19 under before overnight leader Von Dellingshausen eagled the last in a 68 to leapfrog them into second.

Burmester's win at the co-sanctioned Tshwane Open in 2017 was his first on the European Tour and seventh on the Sunshine Tour, but he had not claimed a worldwide victory since.

The victory is the fourth in the last seven events by a South African and follows Garrick Higgo's triumph just seven days ago at the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open.

Korn Ferry Tour – Huntsville Championship

Paul Barjon eagled the third playoff hole to win the Huntsville Championship moving back into the Top 200 to World No. 170.

Barjon and Guillermo Pereira both had potential tournament-winning birdie putts miss by a fraction of an inch on the 72nd hole, setting up the playoff with Billy Kennerly, who matched the low round of the tournament with a 7-under 63.

On the first hole of the playoff, Kennerly had the best look for a win. All three settled for par and headed back to the 18th tee. Barjon and Pereira scratched out pars the second time around, while Kennerly’s approach trickled off the back of the green and led to a bogey.

With the playoff down to two, Barjon was first to play from the 10th fairway. He delivered the shot of the tournament.

“It always feels good to win, no matter what Tour you play on,” Barjon said. “It sucks not to win. I would’ve been frustrated. It’s just little things. If you give yourself a putt to win, like on No. 10, eventually it’s going to go in.”

Paired with a quartet of top-three finishes, Barjon’s victory moves him from 15th to sixth in the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour points standings, almost assuredly securing his first PGA TOUR card.

With his first Korn Ferry Tour victory under his belt, though, Barjon already has a new plan.

“We’re all competitors, so you want to finish first at the end of the year,” Barjon said. “I want to finish first and get the best status you can get on the PGA TOUR. That’s going to be my goal now.”

Sunshine and Challenge Tour - Bain's Whisky Cape Town Open

JC Ritchie was back in the winner’s circle again after beating Jacques Blaauw in a playoff for the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open at the Royal Cape Golf Club moving to World No.182 from 263.

Ritchie finished regulation play tied with Blaauw for the lead on 14 under par. And then he maintained his perfect playoff record with a birdie on the first extra hole to win his second tournament on the European Challenge Tour and the eighth title of his Sunshine Tour career.

“Something’s back. My game disappeared during Covid and I’ve been through hell with a lot of tears in the last year. It’s been a tough time and I’ve gone to some terrible places. With all the tears, practice and at times wanting to give up, this win just cancels out all the bad things that have happened since Covid. To be able to get myself back in this position and strong enough to win again is very satisfying,” said an emotional Ritchie.

It was a fairytale finish to a week that started with Ritchie struggling over his first nine holes in Thursday’s first round, and not sure what lay in store for him.

JC Ritchie was back in the winner’s circle again after beating Jacques Blaauw in a playoff for the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open at the Royal Cape Golf Club on Sunday.

Ritchie finished regulation play tied with Blaauw for the lead on 14 under par. And then he maintained his perfect playoff record with a birdie on the first extra hole to win his second tournament on the European Challenge Tour and the eighth title of his Sunshine Tour career.

“Something’s back. My game disappeared during Covid and I’ve been through hell with a lot of tears in the last year. It’s been a tough time and I’ve gone to some terrible places. With all the tears, practice and at times wanting to give up, this win just cancels out all the bad things that have happened since Covid. To be able to get myself back in this position and strong enough to win again is very satisfying,” said an emotional Ritchie.

It was a fairytale finish to a week that started with Ritchie struggling over his first nine holes in Thursday’s first round, and not sure what lay in store for him.