Weekend winners: Hoffman birdies the last for Texas title
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open – Charley Hoffman
The American made the headlines on Saturday for a duffed tee shot (but still made par) and he them again when he rolled in a 10-footer on the last for a birdie and his fourth win on Tour. That edged him ahead of Patrick Reed, who also made a birdie four, and came after flying the green into a back bunker.
Reed also had chances at 16 and 17 and almost pitched in for a three at the 72nd hole but had to settle for second, a shot ahead of a fast-finishing Chad Collins.
Luke Donald’s recent improved form came hit the buffers with a 74, and a tie for 13th, while last week’s Heritage champion Branden Grace shot a 67 to muscle his way into the top 10. Overnight leader Ricky Barnes faded away with five bogeys in his first 12 holes but two birdies got him back into a four-way share of fourth.
Hoffman, whose last victory came in November 2014, made his move with birdies at 11 and 14 and then saved par after hitting a fat approach to 50 feet at the penultimate hole.
Challenge Tour: Red Sea Egyptian Challenge – Jordan Smith
The Englishman went wire to wire to claim his first victory on the Challenge Tour after topping the EuroPro Tour last year. The key shot was a hybrid at the par-3 16th which finished a foot away and he then birdied 17 to help him to a 69.
He won by two shots from Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach, England’s Garrick Porteous and Austria’s Manuel Trappel. Amateur champion Romain Langasque, who played in the Masters recently, began his life as a pro with a tie for fifth. In the first event of the season in Kenya the Frenchman, while still an amateur was second.
What Smith said: “I never really thought I could win on Challenge Tour this quickly, I’d hoped maybe for later in the year, but the last couple of weeks I’ve been hitting the ball the best I’ve ever hit it – that’s all down to my coach.
“I could barely hold the putter on the 18th to be honest. It was nice having that two-shot cushion coming down the last but it was all to play for down the stretch and I’m over the moon with how I managed to close it out.
LPGA Tour: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic- Haru Nomura
Haru Nomura recorded her second win of the 2016 season on the LPGA Tour. After taking the 36 and 54 hole lead, Nomura began the final round with a 3 shot advantage to her closest competitors Lee-Anne Pace and Na Yeon Choi.
With gusting winds of 40mph it was a very up and down final round for Nomura. She made three consecutive bogeys on the front nine but bounced back with birdies on the 12th, 14th and 17th. Meanwhile her challengers were finding the conditions tough also. Lee-Anne Pace had a horror show at the start of her round, making 5 consecutive birdies to fall out of contention and Na Yeon Choi also bogeyed her first two holes.
With her victory this week, Nomura becomes the third multiple winner of 2016, having captured the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in February for her first win on Tour. She joins Ha Na Jang and Lydia Ko as the only multiple winners this season.
European Tour: Shenzhen International- Soomin Lee
In what was an eventful final round, Soomin Lee held his nerve and went wire-to-wire to claim his maiden European Tour title at Genzon Golf Club.
With severe weather conditions the event went into a 5th day. Lee was not alone at the top of the leaderboard, Alexander Levy, Lee Slattery, Joost Luiten, Brandon Stone and Scott Hend were all within one shot of the lead and were looking to take the crown.
The South Korean started the day in a tie for the lead, but a birdie on the 16th and an eagle at the 17th, Lee pulled himself away from the chasing pack and give himself a 2-shot victory. After disappointment earlier in the season in Malaysia, Lee now joins the winners circle after only his sixth start.
“I got a big chance in Malaysia but I didn’t make it because I was really, really nervous. Now I made it,” he said
“Yesterday I was really, really nervous. We had a lot of break times and then played again so that’s really good for me and I just thought about my golf and then competed until I could do it.