PGA Tour: Valspar Championship ” Charl Schwartzel
The South African shot the lowest round on Sunday to reel in Bill Haas before edging him out at the first extra hole. Schwartzel fired a six-birdie 67 and then a two-putt par was enough to claim his second win on the PGA Tour.
The highlights of his final round were a brilliant fairway wood to the 11th and a 64-footer two holes later for a birdie two. He then made a 10-footer for birdie at the next, produced a brilliant up and down at 16 and recorded a second two of the day at the 71st hole.
Haas led by three late on after a sand save at 15 but he couldn’t repeat that at the next and Schwartzel’s strong finish closed the gap. Haas then pushed his tee shot in the play-off, then found sand and a poor recovery left him too much to do.
Former Innisbrook resident and still an amateur Lee McCoy made a four-foot par putt to make the cut on Friday and then enjoyed the weekend of his life.
The 22-year-old, who grew up close to the 1st tee, shot 69 playing alongside Jordan Spieth to take fourth spot. Ryan Moore finished in third on his own.
McCoy can’t accept any winnings but can give any winnings to charity so he chose to give his money to 50 Legs which provides prosthetic limbs for children and adults. It is run by McCoy’s trainer. He will spend his Monday playing 36 holes in a college tournament.
What Schwartzel said (of his dip in form): “It was a snowball in the wrong direction. (I thought about) just saying let’s just start over (and missing the FedEx play-offs), let’s just get your game in the right shape and then make this year a good year. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it was but I needed confidence.
“He (my father) gave me all old feelings and sort of things that we used to work on that I had forgotten to work on again and made it very simple. I started trusting it and started believing it.Then winning in South Africa helped because there you’re hitting good shots under pressure to win. That gets your confidence up.”
European Tour: Thailand Classic ” Scott Hend
Last week the Australian finished the week at Doral at 22 over, now he has his second win on Tour in 144 starts.
Home favouriteÂ Piya Swangarunporn, 798th in the world, put the pressure on with a course-record 63 and led by one with five holes of Hend’s final round to play. The 32-year-old holed his second shot at the 10th, holed a 40-footer for back-to-back birdies at 14 and signed off with a 20-footer.
Last year Hend lost out to Andrew Dodt by a shot after bogeying 14 and 17, this year he reversed those dropped shots with birdies. He could then afford to three putt the 72nd hole for a par, a four-under 68, and one-shot win.
Thomas Pieters, who began the week with a 73, took third to secure his place in the WGC-Match Play and Peter Uihlein got up and down at the last to take fourth.
What Hend said: “For Piya to shoot 63 was an amazing round. He set the score and the target and then I had to just try and keep making birdies to try and catch him.
“I learned from last year when I pushed too hard on the 17th here and lost my chance to win. So this year I knew I had to be patient and let the golf course come to me.
“To win this tournament, after last year’s disappointing finish and to get back into the winner’s circle in Europe and to stay in the winner’s circle in Asia, is extremely important to me and I’m very proud to win this title.”
Ladies European Tour: World Ladies Championship ” Lee Jung-Min
The World No 35 topped a Korean-packed leaderboard with a closing 66 for her eighth career title.
She dropped two shots in the last three holes but eight earlier birdies provided enough of a cushion to stay ahead of Lee Seung-Hyun, Kim Bo-Kyung and Ji Han Sol in China. Ji needed to birdie the difficult 18th to tie but, having almost holed her approach, missed from 12 feet.
There was double cause for celebration as Lee also won the team competition with partner Ko Jin-Young. An aggregate score of 12-under put the South Korean pair 15 strokes ahead of the French duo Gwladys Nocera and CÃ©line Herbin.
This was the first edition of the World Ladies Championship to be sanctioned by the Korean LPGA Tour as well as the Ladies European Tour and China LPGA and resulted in nine KLPGA players in the top 12 places in total.
What Lee said: “I was very surprised to win because I didn’t feel that I played my best and I wasn’t in the leading group. My main goal this year is to get my best ever score on the KLPGA Tour.”