Who won what and where: Opportunity Knox for RussellNovember 8, 2015 Golf News
Gouveia wraps up Challenge Tour in style
European Tour: WGC HSBC Champions – Russell Knox
The Scot teed off at 7.45 am on his own after choosing not to play the 18th hole of his third round and it proved to be the beginning of a magical day.
Knox birdied the 18th and then became the first player to win a WGC on his debut (he was the 7th reserve at one point), and the first Scot to win one, when he beat Kevin Kisner by two shots after shooting a 68 in Shanghai.
Danny Willett was briefly tied for the lead and closed with a 62 to tie for third with Ross Fisher and that means the Race to Dubai will be settled in the final event in Dubai.
What Knox said: “It’s incredible. I always hoped it (a win) was going to happen but you’re just never sure. There’s just so many unbelievable players on tours all around the world and to win on this stage is a dream come true. I still can’t quite believe it.
“Deep down in my bones I felt I was capable of winning. I thought it was going to be maybe another year, but I’m glad it happened now.”
Challenge Tour: Grand Final – Ricardo Gouveia
The Portuguese became the highest earner in a Challenge Tour season, eclipsing Edoardo Molinari in 2009, when he topped off a brilliant season with victory in the final event.
Gouveia came into Oman in top spot and he finished it off with a best-of-the-week 65, with five birdies on the back nine, to beat JB Hansen by shot. It was his second win and 12th top 10 in 18 starts.
As always there was plenty of drama to claim one of the 15 golden tickets to the European Tour. Hansen birdied the last three holes to finish second climb from 17th to fifth place.
Jeff Winther shot 66 to share third and move from 18th to 11th spot. Callum Shinkwin also tied for third and he climbed 10 places from 23rd to 12th while Nacho Elvira, already a European Tour player after three wins on the Challenge Tour this season, finished alongside him on 11 under par. Brandon Stone was sixth and that was enough for him to take the 14th spot.
Going the other way were Scott Henry of Scotland and Englishman Max Orrin, who both shot 67 to tie for seventh and were inside the top 15 for much of the final day, but came up short. New Zealander Ryan Fox finished in the unenviable 16th spot, he shot a 66 but came up just €2,350 behind Jamie McLeary in the 15th and final spot.
What Gouveia said: “I got my rhythm back in the middle of the round and my putter was really hot on the back nine. It was almost like being on auto-pilot today. I was feeling a little nervous but not too much because I was just in that zone and I just started playing really well and making birdies. I’m just really happy.”
LPGA Tour: Toto Japan Classic – Sun-Ju Ahn
Another win for Korea as Ahn claimed her first LPGA title after coming through a three-woman play-off.
Ahn, Angela Stanford and Ji-Hee Lee went back to the par-4 18th and all three hit the green. Lee left a 50-footer short, Stanford just missed from 30 feet and Ahn knocked her putt in from six feet.
What Ahn said: “I didn’t think that I’d be able to win the tournament but it’s a nice surprise and I’m very happy.
Ladies European Tour: Sanya Ladies Open- Xiyu Lin
A final-round 65 meant the teenager would defend her title after beating her Chinese compatriot Jing Yan by two shots. She began the final day four shots behind but birdied three of the first six holes. Lin, who has Mardi Lunn on her bag, then added three in a row in an impressive final day. Beth Allen was tied for fourth, a shot behind Shanshan Feng.
What Lin said: “It’s the first time I’ve been waiting in the clubhouse to see if someone could catch me and I was so nervous. I kept telling myself, whatever happens, just accept that and thank God it was a good result.
“I just love this course so much and every hole, every fairway, every green. I need to find out why I always play well in Sanya.”