Winners on Tour: Nerveless Day continues Aussie dominanceMarch 20, 2016 The Scoop
Chawrasia off to Rio, Kim shoots round of the weekend
PGA Tour: Arnold Palmer Invitational – Jason Day
The new World No 2 posted his first win of 2016 with a brilliant finish at Bay Hill. Day showed his class with a spectacular two at the 17th and then produced an even more impressive up and down from sand at the last.
He stuttered early on with bogeys at the two front-nine par 5s having chipped in at the 2nd. But the birdie of the day, stone dead from the rough, closed out the front half and his two-under back nine gave him a 70 as his closest challengers struggled with the famous 18th.
Kevin Chappell teed off on the last with a one-shot lead after birdies at 13 and 16 but, having missed the fairway, he was unable to salvage his par.
Troy Merritt, who tied for third with Henrik Stenson, had the most extraordinary Sunday. The American had two doubles going out to look out of contention but then birdied the first five holes coming home, the fifth from sand. Another chip-in came at the 17th, this time for par, but a weak approach to the 72nd hole ended up wet.
Stenson also looked primed to end his winless run after back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 but he gave those shots back within the next three holes.
The round of the day came from Kiradech Aphibarnrat whose 65 moved him up into a very profitable share of sixth.
What Day said: “My iron play was very, very poor over the weekend but one thing that helped a lot was my short game. I holed a lot of shots out this week, more so than I’ve ever done in my career and it’s all that hard work that I’ve been putting in from the start of the season on my short game because I know that that’s one strength that I hold.
“If I have a good short game it gives me a boost of confidence and gives me the confidence that I can go out there even when I don’t have my best stuff with my full game and my swing can go out there and play well.”
European Tour: Indian Open – SSP Chawrasia
The former caddy now looks like joining Anirban Lahiri at the Olympics after securing a two-shot win over Lahiri and Korean Jeunghun Wang.
He had previously finished second four times in this tournament but this time was different at the Delhi Golf Club, a closing birdie after a brilliant pitch from 70 yards giving him a 71. Lahiri, who applauded his countryman’s shot, could only make a five.
Chawrasia has a nice story to his golfing education – the 37-year-old’s father was a greenkeeper at Royal Calcutta. He then became a caddy and when he joined the pro ranks he had to borrow a set of clubs from a friend when he started competing in 1997.
WhatChawrasia said: “I have finished second four times in the Indian Open and every time that happen to me I wondered if I would ever be able to one day be the champion. This year, I came believing I had to win. I knew that I could do it. There was a lot of pressure on me on the last hole but I had to say thank God when Anirban missed his birdie putt!
“I think every Indian player looks at this tournament as the biggest. Also, I think I have now qualified for the Olympics and the World Cup and all of that was going around in my mind when I was playing.”
LPGA Tour: Founders Cup – Sei Young Kim
The round of the weekend belonged to the South Korean as she fired a 62 for a five-shot win over Lydia Ko and tied the Tour’s 72-hole tournament record at -27. It had been held by Annika Sorenstam when she shot her 59 15 years ago last week.
Her previous lowest round was a 65, something she had done six times, but the 2015 Rookie of the Year had eight birdies and an eagle. It gave her a fourth win already with Ko’s weekend efforts of 64-65 barely making any ground.
What Kim said: “Yeah. It’s a dream come true. Today’s score 10-under is my best score ever, ever. So I didn’t know that after the last putt, but after I check the scorecard, I asked to Paul, my caddy, did I shoot 10-under? He said, yeah. Oh, my God. That’s amazing. Yeah. Dream come true. So feel great now.”
Challenge Tour: Kenya Open – Sebastian Soderberg
The Swede kicked off the new season with a three-shot win in Nairobi, a final-round 67 good enough for an impressive 18-under total.
The 25-year-old reached the turn in one under but then pocketed five birdies in a measured display to hold off amateur Romain Langasque who posted a 65 to break Louis Oosthuizen’s course amateur record. This was the Frenchman’s penultimate event as an amateur before he turns professional after competing in next month’s Masters.
What Soderberg said: “It feels pretty unreal right now. I was just trying to keep it together all day – one of my goals for the season was to win an event on the Challenge Tour, so I’ve crossed that off the list
“I had the same approach today as the rest of the week and it worked pretty well. I had a slow front nine but I managed to make a few birdies around the turn and after that I just tried to keep calm and carry on – it was tough, but it feels really good now.”