KOEPKA RETURNS TO WORLD NO.1
Brooks Koepka defended his title at the PGA Championship, returning to World No.1
Koepka captured his fourth major in two years with a victory at the 2019 PGA Championship on a tough day at Bethpage.
Koepka becomes the first player to hold back-to-back titles in two majors at the same time, winning two straight U.S. Open and two consecutive PGA Championships.
In a raging wind that turned Bethpage Black into a beast, Koepka lost all but one shot of his record seven-shot lead Sunday. He lost the brutal Long Island crowd, which began chanting "DJ!" for Dustin Johnson as Koepka was on his way to a fourth straight bogey.
But he delivered the key shots over the closing stretch as Johnson faded with two straight bogeys, and Koepka closed with a 4-over 74 for a two-shot victory and joined Tiger Woods as the only back-to-back winners of the PGA Championship since it went to stroke play in 1958.
Koepka said at the start of the week that majors are sometimes the easiest to win.
This one should have been. It wasn't.
His 74 was the highest final round by a PGA champion since Vijay Singh won in a playoff in 2004 at Whistling Straits.
"I'm just glad I don't have to play any more holes," Koepka said. "That was a stressful round of golf. I'm glad to have this thing back in my hands."
Koepka appeared to wrap it up with a gap wedge from 156 yards to 2 feet on the 10th hole for a birdie, as Johnson made his first bogey of the round up ahead on the 11th. That restored the lead to six shots, and the coronation was on.
Web.com Tour – Knoxville Open
For the second time in three weeks, Robby Shelton came out on top in the state of Tennessee, as the 23-year-old posted an even-par 71 to claim the Knoxville Open title with a 15-under total, breaking into the World Top 200 for the first time in his career at World No. 144.
Shelton, born and raised in Alabama, donned an orange winner’s jacket to celebrate his victory at Fox Den Country Club. The win came 14 days after his first Web.com Tour win at the Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation.
“Bear Bryant is probably turning over in his grave right now,” said Shelton, a former All-American at the University of Alabama. “Coach (Jay) Seawell is probably looking at me and laughing. He’s probably happy that I’m the winner, but to be wearing this, I didn’t think I ever would, honestly.”
With the win, Shelton becomes the first player to win twice in a 14-day span since Michael Putnam in the summer of 2013. As the first multi-event winner of the season, Shelton can now turn his focus towards the “Three-Victory Promotion” for the remainder of the season. When a player wins three times on the Web.com Tour in a season, they earn immediate promotion to the PGA TOUR for the remainder of the season. The last player to accomplish the feat was Wesley Bryan in 2016. The achievement has only occurred 11 times in the Web.com Tour’s history.
“I did know about the three-win promotion” said Shelton. “I’m not going to stop playing and hopefully I can get one more. That would definitely get me to the PGA TOUR sooner than waiting until October.”
Shelton got off to a rocky start, earning pars on his first three holes before back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes. But perhaps reminiscing on a similar cold start in Nashville, Shelton birdied Nos. 7, 11 and 12 to retake the lead down the stretch and outlast Mark Anderson by one stroke. With the win, Shelton jumps Xinjun Zhang for the top spot on the Web.com Tour Points List.
“I think that’s when I play my best, honestly,” said Shelton. “I won a lot in college coming from behind and that’s just where I’ve been putting myself after the first couple of holes lately. The putter’s been a little shaky early and all day today actually. I hung in there and I knew with the wind, the scores weren’t going to be too low today.”
Professional Gol Tour of India - Tata Steel PGTI Players Championship 2019 presented by Chandigarh Golf Club
Delhi’s Rashid Khan, who largely went unnoticed on the first three days of the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship Presented by Chandigarh Golf Club, knocked out all his closest rivals with a gallant final round of six-under-66 to register a two-shot victory at 13-under-275.
Khan started the year Ranked World No. 784, 6 top 10’s and 2 wins takes the Indian to World No. 296.
The 28-year-old Rashid (70-68-71-66), a two-time Asian Tour winner, earned a just reward for firing the last day’s best score as he lifted his 12th professional trophy which was also his 10th on the PGTI.
Khan’s second title of the season pushed him up from second place to first position in the 2019 TATA Steel PGTI Order of Merit as his season’s earnings now read Rs. 25,68,453. Rashid overtook previous money list leader Chikkarangappa of Bengaluru.
All Thailand Golf Tour and Asian Development Tour - Singha Laguna Phuket Open
Argentina’s Miguel Carballo prevailed on the first play-off hole to win the Singha Laguna Phuket Open on Sunday.
Carballo entered the round four shots off the pace, but a birdie blitz led him to close with a six-under-par 64 and force a play-off with Joohyung Kim of Korea and Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil at the award-winning Laguna Golf Phuket.
Kim and Chinnarat returned with rounds of 68 and 65 respectively to tie with Carballo on a 15 under-par 265 total at the end of regulation play.
The 40-year-old Carballo only needed one extra hole to edge out his competitors on the par-four 18th hole, after rolling in a crucial six-foot putt for birdie while Kim and Chinnarat settled for tied-second.
Carballo dropped a shot on his first hole but recovered with a birdie on the second. He gained momentum towards the middle of the round with five straight birdies starting from the sixth hole and added an eagle on hole 14 that ensured his place in the play-off.
“I played solidly all four rounds and was hitting it good. All my birdie putts were either tap-ins or inside 10-feet and I gave myself a lot of chances. I made bogeys today on holes one and hole 18 which were the only two holes that I three-putted,” said Carballo.
KPGA Korean Tour - SK telecom OPEN
Jeongwoo Ham won the SK Telecom Open earning 9 Ranking points, moving from World No. 1187 to World No. 536.
PGA Tour LatinoAmercia - BMW Jamaica Classic
Evan Harmeling made a disappointing par on the 18th hole at Cinnamon Hill Golf Club to finish his suspended third round, Harmeling redeemed himself on that same hole, rolling in a testing, four-foot birdie putt to break the tie he was in with Augusto Núñez and win the 2019 BMW Jamaica Classic by a stroke.
It was Harmeling’s first career PGA TOUR Latinoamérica win and prevented Núñez from finally breaking through after the Argentine has been the most consistent player through the Tour’s first six events. This was Nunez’s fourth top-10 of the year and his best finish jumping 320 spots to a career best of World No.541.
A hard-charging Leandro Marelli shot a final-round 65 to move from ninth to third, two shots shy of Harmeling.
The day, however, belonged to the 30-year-old New Englander. Despite shooting his worst score of the week, a 1-under 71, it was enough for Harmeling to eke out the win. He played the final two holes of his third round early Sunday morning, making back-to-back pars on the 17th and 18th. He returned to the course for his final round and was 2-under through seven holes and holding onto a three-shot lead.
BIG Easy Tour - Big Easy Challenge 3 – Modderfontein
Boland rookie Garrick Higgo went wire-to-wire at Modderfontein Golf Club to lift his first professional title on the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour on Wednesday jumping 224 spots to a career best of World No.716.
Less than two months since the GolfRSA National Squad ‘Old Boy’ joined the paid ranks, Higgo closed out a one-shot victory on eight-under 208 over Clinton Grobler and 17-year-old Southern Cape amateur Martin Vorster with a final round level-par 72.
But the 20-year-old barely had time to soak up the success before he had to speed off to Swaziland with the trophy and his signature bottle of Ernie Els wine on the back seat.
“I have a 06h50 tee-time in the Lombard Insurance Classic qualifier tomorrow morning, so the celebrations are on ice,” Higgo said. “It’s kind of ironic, because I made the cut in the Investec Royal Swazi Open in Swaziland two weeks ago, but now I have to go back to qualify. That comes with rookie territory, though; you have to pay your dues.
“I’m super stoked. I played the Big Easy IGT before Q-School and came up this week to stay competitive and to test my new driver and 3-wood. The clubs performed great and I ended up coming away with a trophy.”
PGA Tour Series China - Qinhuangdao Championship
Luke Kwon overcame a double bogey on hole 16 then closed with back-to-back birdies, which was enough to hold off Canada’s Myles Creighton (69) and secure a one-stroke victory at the Qinhuangdao Championship.
American Matthew Negri, who was playing in the final group with Creighton and Chinese Taipei’s Weihsuan Wang, carded a 70 to share third, along with Thailand’s Suteepat Prateeptienchai (67). Wang was leading at the start of the day but dropped into solo fifth after a final round 72.
Playing in the penultimate group, the 26-year-old Kwon, who moved to fourth on the Order of Merit, started the day four shots off the lead but quickly found himself among the leaders after going 8-under through his first 13 holes at Qinhuangdao Poly Golf Club. From there it was neck and neck until the end.
After a bogey on hole 14, Kwon still held a one-shot lead before the double bogey on 16 dropped him one shot behind Creighton. With two holes left to play, Kwon drained a 30-footer for birdie on the 17th before sinking another birdie putt from seven feet on the final hole. Meanwhile, Creighton was finishing with five straight pars.
“I really needed that birdie on 17. It was huge. I was feeling a bit down and was looking at a long putt from around 30 feet, and it went in,” said Kwon. “My putting had been good all week, and thankfully it saved me again today, and I made some clutch putts at the end.”
Abema TV Tour - HEIWA PGM Challenge I Road to CHAMPIONSHIP
Seonghyeon Kim won the HEIWA PGM Challenge I Road to CHAMPIONSHIP earning his first ever Ranking points.
The win takes him from 2057 to World No. 764.
Alps Tour Golf – Gosser Open
With four Austrian players in the top ten positions, home crowd had all the reasons to flock to Golfclub Erzherzog Johann to attend the final day of the 27th edition of Gösser Open. And they certainly weren’t disappointed, as the youngest and most promising of their local heroes, Timon Baltl, went around the 18 holes with an exciting course-record 62, 10 under par, and could finally grab the coveted trophy – and the 6,162 Euros cheque – with a three-strokes advantage over his nearest contender, experienced Frenchman Xavier Poncelet.
“It was such an amazing experience to get first win on Alps Tour at home – said Baltl, 24, who is on his third season on our satellite circuit – probably I couldn’t choose a better tournament to win ! It’s really unbelievable for me, having my dad on the bag (Max Baltl, a pro himself) and my mom watching makes this feel even better”.
Baltl earned 4 Ranking points moving to a career best of World No. 875 from 1392.
Nordic Golf League - TanumStrand Fjällbacka Open
Oliver Gillberg won the TanumStrand Fjällbacka Open moving from 2057 to World No. 1036
Sunshine Tour - Lombard Insurance Classic
It took Jake Redman nearly 10 years to get his maiden Sunshine Tour victory, and he pulled it off in a thriller with a one-stroke win on Sunday in the Lombard Insurance Classic at Royal Swazi Spa Country Club.
He carded a final round of five-under-par 67, with a nervy closing nine which included his only bogey of the round, on his way to the win over the charging pair of Toto Thimba and Thriston Lawrence. They each signed for seven-under 65, which left them on 19-under for the tournament and just one shot adrift.
“I don’t really have many words,” said Redman. “I’m over the moon. It’s taken a hell of a long time. I’ve had a few seconds along the way, a few heartache moments and to eventually come out and win really feels great.
“There’s been a lot of hard work, endless support from my wife and my mom and dad. It’s unbelievable what I’ve gone through. I almost gave up, and now I got here to win.”
It was a win which improved on his runner-up finish in the 2014 edition of the tournament, and it was one which was achieved with and enormous amount of pressure being applied by a lot of the players around him – there was a 63 from Keenan Davidse who finished fifth, a pair of early 64s from Jake Roos and Daniel van Tonder, and the 66 from Ruan Conradie who finished fourth.
“With the pressure, it helped playing with Doug Mcguigan,” said Redman of his playing partner who finished in a share of sixth. “He’s such a relaxed character and I just tried to keep myself calm, because sometimes you can get stuck in the moment and put a lot more pressure on yourself.”