BURNS BREAKS INTO THE WORLD TOP 20
PGA Tour – Sanderson Farms Championship
Sam Burns ran off four birdies in a six-hole stretch for a 5-under 67 to win the Sanderson Farms Championship for his second PGA TOUR victory this year breaking into the World Top 20 for the first time at World No. 18.
Against a list of contenders looking for their first win, Burns showed what it takes at the Country Club of Jackson by playing flawlessly on the back nine until it didn't matter.
He seized control with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 13th, a 5-iron to 15 feet that set up a two-putt birdie on the next hole and then a perfect pitch from behind the green on the reachable par-4 15th for a tap-in birdie.
Staked to a two-shot lead going down the 18th, he took a safe bogey from the greenside bunker to secure a one-shot win over resurgent Nick Watney and PGA TOUR rookie Cameron Young.
Watney, coming off his worst season in more than a decade, closed with a 65 and had his best finish in more than three years.
Young's hopes began to fade on the 14th with a clunker out of the rough into a fairway bunker that led to him having to make a 4-footer for bogey.
Still, he made a slick up-and-down from off the 18th green for par that gave him a 68 and a share of second, which sets him up well for the season. That starts with playing next week in Las Vegas instead of having to go through Monday qualifying.
“I love being in contention, I love feeling the nerves, so it was fun today. I enjoyed it, even though it might not have looked like it,” Young said. “I knew Sam was ahead of me and I had to make a couple and just didn’t, but I will another time.”
Japan Golf Tour – Vantelin Tokai Classic
Chan Kim won a sixth Japan Golf Tour title at the Vantelin Tokai Classic moving back into the Top 100 to World No.79 from 112.
European Tour – Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
Danny Willett handed himself the perfect birthday present as he claimed a seventh European Tour win at the 2021 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship jumping to World No. 101 from 170.
The Englishman carded a closing 68 on his 34th birthday to get to 18 under and win by two shots, adding to his record of victories at some of the European Tour's most iconic venues.
Willett has won at Augusta National, Wentworth Golf Club and Crans-sur-Sierre to name but a few, and he can now add the Old Course at St Andrews to his list.
The two time Rolex Series champion entered the day with a three shot lead and while he was briefly caught by Richard Bland, he produced a textbook display of front running on the back nine to hold off the challenge of Tyrrell Hatton and Joakim Lagergren and become the first player to win a European Tour event on their birthday since Ernie Els at the 2004 HSBC World Match Play Championship.
This is the second time the 2016 Masters Tournament winner has tasted victory at this event, winning the team section alongside Jonathan Smart - who is back on the bag for him this week - in 2017.
Team glory this week went to Michael Hoey and Maeve Danaher at 36 under, with Danaher becoming the first woman to win the event after the pair finished at 36 under.
Challenge Tour - Swiss Challenge
Marcus Helligkilde claimed his second European Challenge Tour title in the space of seven weeks as he triumphed at the Swiss Challenge at Golf Saint Apollinaire moving to World No.143.
The Dane started the day three strokes ahead of compatriot Nicolai Kristensen and Englishman Jonathan Thomson, who posted final rounds of 67 and 66 respectively, fueling a tight battle between the three players after the turn.
Helligkilde started his final round with two birdies and battled with the conditions as he made consecutive gains on the 13th and 14th holes to move one stroke ahead of Kristensen and Thomson. He calmly finished his round with four straight pars to sign for a 69 and a 25 under par total.
The 24-year-old, who gave himself an early present with his birthday coming this Tuesday, was delighted to secure a second victory on the Challenge Tour alongside his friend Kristensen.
“It feels so great, playing with Nicolai today, we had a great battle,” he said. “Do you know what, we just had fun out there. It was so cool, and for him to finish second as well I am so happy for him.
“I could definitely feel the pressure, it helps quite a bit when you can play with a mate in Nicolai, and I think we both enjoyed it and we both just did our best and I came out on top and I’m grateful for that.
“I don’t have nerves of steel; I know I have nerves and I just accepted it as it is, and I just tried to do my best and enjoy it.”
KPGA Korean Golf Tour - Hyundai Insurance KJ Choi Invitational
Jeongwoo Ham won the Hyundai Insurance KJ Choi Invitational earning 9 Ranking pints moving from World No. 381 to 269.
Nordic Golf League - Visby Open by Destination Gotland
Jarand Ekeland Arnoy moves to World No. 546 from 708 after winning the Visby Open by Destination Gotland.
Abema TV Tour - TI Challenge in Tojonomori
Amateur Riki Kawamoto earned 4 Ranking points at the TI Challenge in Tojonomori moving up the Ranking 247 spots to World No. 604.
Sunshine Tour - Vodacom Origins of Golf – Humewood
Daniel Greene secured his first Sunshine Tour title in his 12th season on tour at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series Humewood securing the playoff win over Tristen Strydom.
Greene jumps 392 spots to World No. 697.
Greene completed a solid par on the first playoff hole, on the par-four 18th, while Strydom could only get a bogey after he hit his second shot well right of the green. It was a bitter blow for the 24-year-old who was also chasing his first victory on tour, Strydom missing a shortish putt for par on the last hole of regulation play.
Making the turn on two-under for his round, Greene then did exceptionally well to come home in level-par as the players faced the worst of the wind. The 36-year-old was helped by a crucial eagle on the par-five 11th.
When Strydom bogeyed the 17th it meant they were all-square going up the last and Strydom wasted a golden opportunity to win as he was lying just off the green and decided to chip his third instead of putting.
Steve Surry, Christiaan Basson and Malcolm Mitchell, who blazed through the last nine holes in four-under-par to finish with a level-par 72, all finished just one stroke off the lead on four-under-par, proving that the leaders cannot take anything for granted when conditions were as tough as they were at Humewood on Saturday.
Big Easy Tour - Big Easy Road to #16 Services
Amateur Noel Anderson carded a closing round of seven-under-par 65 on Wednesday to run out a two-stroke winner in the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour’s Road to the Sunshine Tour #15 at Services Golf Club.
Anderson, who spent four years at a Division II college in the United States, Flagler in Florida, but only resumed competitive golf with any kind of commitment about six months ago, made an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys to head off the challenge of Therion Nel, Vaughn van Deventer and overnight leader Erhard Lambrechts by two shots.
“I was actually quite calm about everything, considering I’ve never been in this kind of position before,” said Anderson. “I mean, my hands weren’t shaking, or anything. I really pretty much kept concentrating on what I was doing, and then, when I got to the last hole, I saw that I had a two-shot lead, and that made me feel pretty good.”
He got off to a flyer in the final round, with a birdie on the first and an eagle on the second. He followed his next gain for the day with his first bogey on the sixth, but he was back on track with another birdie on nine to turn in four-under. Two more birdie-putts dropped on 11 and 12. A bogey on 14 could have made him nervous, but, instead, he followed it with birdies on 15 and 16 to get two shots ahead, which was where he stayed.