Weekend winners: Treble joy for Donaldson in ThailandDecember, 2015
Westwood continues Open run
Thailand Golf Championship: Jamie Donaldson
The Welshman claimed his first win of 2015 and with it booked his place at next year’s Open Championship and the Masters.
Donaldson won by three shots with a closing 65 after starting with a hat-trick of birdies. And he finished the tournament in style when he knocked in a 35-foot birdie putt at the island 17th, his fourth two of the week there.
The win gets him back inside the world’s top 50, good enough for a return to Augusta, and gave him one of the four spots available for Royal Troon.
Lee Westwood tied with overnight leader Clement Sordet of France to also climb back inside the top 50, just in time for the Masters invite, and he, the Frenchman and 16-year-old Thai player Phachara Khongwatmai, who came through Monday qualifying. will all be at Troon.
It will be Westwood’s 22nd straight appearance at the Open. He shot a bogey-free 67.
What Donaldson said: “It was important to come here and try and play well and contend and I did that and ended up winning. That’s what I came here to do. It’s awesome when it all comes off your way.
“Importantly this has enabled me to get into the Open. I needed to win to get into the top 50 so there was a lot to play for and hopefully it all comes to fruition next year.”
MCB Tour Championship: Colin Montgomerie
The Scot birdied the final three holes to claim his third win of 2015 and smash his own record for winnings in a Senior Tour season.
The €679,147 he earned was over three times more than Englishman Barry Lane, his nearest Order of Merit rival.
David Frost pushed him all the way with five birdies in his first 12 holes but Montgomerie, who bogeyed the 6th and 7th, kept his nerve for his first win in Mauritius.
The win was also memorable for the Scot as he holed in one at the 17th on Saturday.
What Monty said: “This win is right up there. The 64 on Saturday really set me up, but David Frost really pushed me all the way. I had to be at my best because it was very tough, but to birdie the last three holes to win gives me an awful lot of satisfaction.
“When I saw I was one shot behind, I knew I had to knuckle down because David wasn’t going to give it to me. But I managed to hit pretty much every fairway coming in, which is what I knew I had to do.
“The 17th has been extremely good to me this week, and in the end the way I played that hole has won me the tournament. I birdied it the first day, had the hole in one and then birdied it again, so I’ve had two putts in three holes and played it in four under.”
Dubai Ladies Masters: Shanshan Feng
This was possibly the most predictable win of the year as the Chinese star strolled to a 12-shot win in Dubai.
Five in front overnight Feng went bogey-free in her last-round 66 to equal her own record of 21 under par and secure her third win in the event.
Feng also become the first player from China to win the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit. She came to Dubai with an unassailable lead and her €75,000 put her over €150,000 clear of Reid. She now boasts 15 career wins, including five on the Ladies European Tour.
Thailand’s Thidapa Suwannapura finished second on nine under par with England’s Mel Reid a stroke back in third. Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand, Germany’s Caroline Masson and Frenchwoman Jade Schaeffer finished tied for fourth place.
What Feng said: “Coming to this tournament my goal was a top-five finish and I’m delighted to exceed my expectations. Dubai has been really good me, a lucky place, indeed.It wasn’t easy out there in the windy conditions, but I kept my composure and got the job done in the end.”
Franklin Templeton Shootout: Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker
The American pair birdied the last two holes to beat Harris English and Matt Kuchar by two shots, finishing the three rounds at 30 under.
Dufner and Snedeker had six birdies on the front nine, Snedeker chipping in at the 3rd, and followed it with five more.
English and Kuchar have finished first, second and second the past three years. Charley Hoffman and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Daniel Berger finished third.
What Dufner said: “I’m pretty consistent, I’m in the fairway, I’m on the greens. That gives him a lot of confidence. He putts really well so that gives me more confidence. I was able to stroke the ball a lot freer this week.”
What Snedeker said: “I play with Jason a lot and this is the best I’ve ever seen him roll it. The key for us was 17, Jason made a clutch, tough 4-footer down the hill that gave us the lead.”