PAN JUMPS TO A CAREER BEST WORLD NO.55
PGA Tour – RBC Heritage
C.T. Pan took advantage of Dustin Johnson's back-nine struggles to win the RBC Heritage for his first PGA TOUR victory jumping to a career best of World No.55 from World No.113.
The 27-year-old Pan, from Taiwan, closed with a 4-under 67 on Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links for a one-stroke victory over Matt Kuchar. Pan finished at 12-under 272.
"It's still really hard for me to believe," he said. "I'm processing. My phone has been vibrating the last 10 minutes. I'm so happy I finally got it done."
Johnson, the third-round leader in his home-state event, had a 77 to tie for 28th at 4 under. He played a five-hole stretch in 7 over, making bogeys on Nos. 11-13 and double bogeys on Nos. 14-15.
Pan took the lead for good with a 9-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th.
Kuchar closed with a 67.
Patrick Cantlay, Scott Piercy and Shane Lowry tied for third at 10 under. Cantlay and Piercy shot 69, and Lowry had a 70.
Pan headed to the practice range after the round to keep ready in case of a playoff, then raised his arms in triumph when told he'd won. He earned 500 FedExCup points, $1,242,000, and a PGA TOUR exemption through the 2020-21 season.
Pan won twice on the PGA TOUR Canada-Mackenzie Tour in 2015 when he turned professional. He's finished second twice in PGA TOUR events, once at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2017 and last year at the Wyndham Championship.
Japan Golf Tour
Brendan Jones won his 15th Japan Golf Tour title at the opening event of the 2019 Japan Tour season, the Token Homemate Cup, in Nagoya by one shot over Matthew Griffin.
Jones moved from World No.153 to World No.98.
Professional Golf Tour India
Chikkarangappa won his 4th OWGR Eligible Tournament at the TATA Steel PGTI’s Delhi-NCR Open 2019 played at the Noida Golf Course (NGC).
Chikkarangappa (67-69-67-69) triumphed over Muniyappa (66-69-68-69) on the fourth playoff hole after both the golfers ended the regulation 72 holes with identical totals of 16-under-272.
Chikkarangappa thus bagged his third title on the PGTI in the last six months and moved up from second to first position in the PGTI Order of Merit. The 25-year-old Chikka has now won all of his five playoff encounters on the PGTI.
Chikkarangappa earned 5 Ranking points and moves to a career best of World No.274.
Abema TV Tour
Thailand’s Danthai Boonma won the Japan Abema TV Tour’s i Golf Shaper Challenge in Tsukushigaoka.
The Thai earned 7 Ranking points jumping from 358 to World No. 281.
Web.com Tour - Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship
Trailing by a stroke on the 72nd hole of the tournament, Lanto Griffin stuck it to five feet before converting a tying birdie and reach a playoff with Robby Shelton at 15-under 273. After both players made pars on the first three holes of the playoff (18-18-9), Griffin stuck it to two feet for a tap-in birdie and his second career Web.com Tour title.
“You put so much work in and there’s so many days and weeks that things don’t click,” said Griffin. “You wonder if you’re going to get back into that situation to have a chance. Just being in contention, I texted my coach last night that I hit it terrible yesterday and my swing felt awful, but my putting came back…I made all of the putts I needed to.”
Griffin posted four front-nine birdies at The Senator Course and led by two at one point early, but seven pars and a bogey on the back nine led up to Griffin’s dramatic closing birdie to tie. His final-round 68 was his fourth round in the 60s all week, the only player to accomplish the feat at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship.
The 30-year-old credited legend Vijay Singh with a putting tip last week on the practice green at TPC Sawgrass to his improved play around the greens.
“I was putting on the back green and Vijay yells out to me from 20 yards away and said ‘get your right elbow in tighter and bend over more,’” said Griffin. “Of course I said ‘yes sir,’ and he came over and helped me for a couple of minutes…He told me after that to go win this week, so big shout out to him. That was cool. Especially from a legend. I don’t think people realize how good Vijay was. He won nine times in 2004. When a legend like that tells you something, you have to pay attention.”
China Tour – Bo Ao Open
Australian Maverick Antcliff won his first title as a pro at the Bo Ao Open finishing four shots ahead of LIN Yung-Lung.
Antcliff moves to a career best of World No. 354.
Asian Development Tour - PGM ADT Penang Championship
Japan’s Naoki Sekito captured his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory with a four-under-par 68 in the final round of the PGM ADT Penang Championship on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Japanese compiled a four-day total of 17-under-par 271 to win by one shot over Malaysia’s Danny Chia (66) and American Sam Gillis (68) who were tied for second at the RM225,000 (approximately US$54,000) event.
American Trevor Simsby and Malaysia’s Amir Nazrin carded matching 69s to take the fourth and fifth spots respectively at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort.
Sekito entered the final round with a one-shot lead, but relinquishes that lead when he dropped a shot on his very first hole.
“I bogeyed my first hole after I pushed my tee shot to the right and had to chip out from behind the trees. But after that bogey, I was less nervous because I wasn’t the sole leader so I knew I could keep chasing,” said Sekito.
With the pressure of his spirited rivals off his back, he held his nerves to stay bogey-free for the rest of the round, notching birdies on holes two, seven, 10, 12, and 15.
“Right after that hole, I made a birdie putt from six feet which gave me that extra boost. I wasn’t hitting the ball very well but I was very lucky on my back nine. I chipped in on hole 12 from 20 yards for birdie and had another good birdie putt from 10 metres on hole 15,” said the young Japanese.
With his victory, Sekito took home a winner’s purse of US$9,529.28 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points while the other top six players and ties earned points based on a sliding scale.
PGA Tour – LatinoAmerica
John Somers won The Abierto de Chile presented by Volvo title two shots ahead of Alex Weiss.
Somers began the final round two strokes behind Weiss as the two battled all day. When they moved to the back nine, the duo was tied at 17-under after Somers made birdie on No. 9 to turn in 31.
The final threesome of Somers, Weiss and Matt Ryan were a combined 10-under on the front nine under a sunny sky and ideal scoring conditions. While Weiss and Ryan couldn’t keep that momentum going on the back nine, Somers was able to minimize his mistakes, his only bogey coming at No. 14. He immediately recovered with a birdie at 15, and that birdie gave him a one-shot lead that he carried to the 18th hole where his heroics happened.
“To be honest, this is my third event this year. The first two events I did not play well. I just wanted something to get me started. Making a cut would have been some momentum. This is more than I could have asked for. This is unbelievable,” said the lefthanded Somers, who graduated from Elon University in North Carolina in 2014.
Alps Tour Golf - Abruzzo Open Dailies Total 1
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez defeated compatriot Adria Arnaus in a playoff for the Abruzzo Open title.
Garcia Rodriguez, 30, started the competition with a 65 (-6) and a tied second place after the first day on beautiful Miglianico Golf & CC, but was leading solo in the following round at -11, and was able to keep those 2-strokes margin also at the end of the third and final day with another 66 and a total -16, in spite of the « attacks » of other in-form players, like Italian Edoardo Lipparelli who eventually settled for a second place at -14.
“I’m very proud and happy I could finally win here in Italy”, said Garcia Rodriguez, “I feel I’m on the right track that hopefully will lead me to the European Tour in the end, and in order to reach this goal I’m going to train and work as hard as ever. There’s no secret, I think that only hard work gets you where you wish to be, and that’s what I’ve been doing to finally win again; but there’s always space for improving, you never have to be content”.
Big Easy Tour - Big Easy Challenge 1 – Centurion
Matt Spacey overcame a determined challenge from Clayton Mansfield to win the season-opener of the 2019/2020 Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour series on Wednesday.
The Dainfern golfer prevailed in a fascinating back nine battle with the Sunshine Tour rookie at Centurion Country Club to claim his fourth professional title with a final round 69 and a winning total of 16 under par.
Spacey had started the week as one of the tournament favourites after winning the first event of the IGT Challenge Tour season a fortnight ago at Wingate Park Country Park.
He lived up to that billing when he came from behind with a brilliant 10-under-par 62 to catapult to the top of the second round leaderboard.
Spacey led by three shots from Mansfield, local favourite Eric Nel and former Sunshine Tour winner Ruan de Smidt, another favoured player at the start of the week, and stayed well ahead of the field when he birdied all three par fives on the front nine.
Mansfield stayed in touch, though, with a trio of birdies around the turn.
“I knew I would have to play well to win because if someone got hot, the lead could evaporate quickly,” said 28-year-old Spacey. “My goal at the start of the day was to try and birdie all the par fives, and to keep it simple: fairways and greens. Clay was really solid off the tee and he was putting well and I knew he could get hot over the last nine holes.
“I stuck to my game plan going down the back. I made a good up-and-down for birdie at the par five 12th, and hit a good drive down the 13th fairway, a lob-wedge from 104 metres to four feet and holed the birdie putt to go five shots clear.