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Week 20: Horschel defeats Day in playoff at AT&T Byron Nelson

May 22, 2017


PGA Tour - AT&T Byron Nelson

In the final round of the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson, Billy Horschel fought back and forth with Jason Day ultimately emerging the winner on the first playoff hole.

While his 18-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Sunday stopped just short, Horschel won with a par when Jason Day pulled his 4-foot par putt left and past the hole.

"When I hit it I knew it was on a perfect line and I thought I got it to the hole. ... I just wanted to finish it off there," Horschel said. "I didn't expect him to miss it. I was expecting to go back to the tee and play the hole again."

Instead, the playoff wrapped up the Nelson's 35th and final tournament in Irving. The event shifts next year to the new links-style Trinity Forest Golf Club south of downtown Dallas.

In his only two previous Nelsons, in 2011 and 2012, Horschel missed the cut at 13 over through 36 holes both times. With a closing 1-under 69 on Sunday, including a 60-foot birdie putt at the 14th hole, Horschel matched Day (68) at 12-under 268 for a playoff.

"It's sad that it's leaving because I was never a fan of this course, but came here and now I am," Horschel said. "I won, and I don't want to leave."

Japan Golf Tour - Kansai Open Golf Championship

Shugo Imahira won his first Japan Golf Tour title a massive six shots over Daisuke Kataoka and South Korean Seungsu Han.

Challenge Tour - Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9

Aaron Rai secured his second European Challenge Tour victory of the season by beating Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan 2&1 in the final match to triumph at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9.

The Englishman, who won the season-opening Barclays Kenya Open, showed skill and grit throughout the final day at La Cala Resort, coming through three nine-hole match play fixtures to claim his second title in four starts on the 2017 Road to Oman.

The 22 year old started the second day of match play with a 2&1 victory over France’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist, before facing his fellow countryman Tom Murray in a finely-balanced semi-final – which Rai eventually claimed 2up.

Facing Rai in the final was Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan. The 22 year old edged out Marcus Kinhult 1up in his quarter-final, then went on to knock out top seed Charlie Ford 3&2 in the semi-final.

Both players were on fine form in the final, with Rai striking first by taking the first two holes with back-to-back birdies.

European Tour - The Rocco Forte Open

Alvaro Quiros defeated Zander Lombard in a play-off to cap a stunning return to form and win his seventh European Tour title at The Rocco Forte Open - Verdura, Sicily.

The Spaniard's last win came in 2011 and he had dropped to 703rd in the Official World Golf Ranking and lost his playing privileges since, deciding to focus on the Challenge Tour in 2017.

A brilliant week in Italy, however, means he is now back on the European Tour and will move into the top 250 in the world after a par on the second trip back up the last handed him victory.

Asian Tour - Thailand Open

Young Thai Rattanon Wannasrichan completed a sensational wire-to-wire victory at the Thailand Open, closing with a four-under-par 67 to win by two shots for his maiden Asian Tour success on Sunday.

The baby-faced 21-year-old, who held a one-shot lead heading into the final round, kept his composure to return with a round of five birdies against one bogey and a winning total of 21-under-par 263 at the Thai Country Club.

Despite stumbling with a bogey on the last, Rattanon managed to hold off the combined challenges from Indian duo Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who settled for second place, in the US$300,000 event, which returned onto the Asian Tour schedule this week following an eight-year lapse.

Sunshine Tour - Lombard Insurance Classic

Oliver Bekker won his second title of the Sunshine Tour season when he took a play-off victory in the Lombard Insurance Classic at the Royal Swazi Sun Country Club on Sunday.

He beat his travelling partner and room-mate Justin Harding on the first hole of a sudden death play-off after the pair finished level on 19-under-par 197 after three rounds of regulation play.

“I’ll take a win, however it comes,” said Bekker. “It was tough playing against my roommate though – you feel like you want to win but you’d rather share the trophy if you could. But obviously there’s got to be a winner and I’m happy it was me today.”

Jared Harvey and JJ Senekal finished in a share of third at 18-under-par, one off the pace.

Bekker started the tournament with a superb nine-under 63, but a second-round two-under 70 left him with plenty of work to do. But his closing eight-under 64 rocketed him to the top of the leaderboard and into the play-off – and all its attendant tension.

“You’re always under pressure on a play-off hole,” said Bekker. “You know you’ve got to hit a good shot and Justin didn’t hit a great tee shot so it kind of left the door open for me,” he added of what transpired on the par-three 18th for the play-off.

Korean Golf Tour – SK Telecom Open

Jinho Choi won the SK Telecom Open for a second time in his career. Rounds of 69, 67,67,66 saw the Korean 19 under par, 2 shots clear of runner up Sanghyun Park.

PGA Tour of Australasia - TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship

New South Welshman Dimitrios Papadatos has won the TX Civil and Logistics WA PGA Championship in his first trip to the Kalgoorlie Golf Course.

Firing rounds of 70, 68, 70, 68 for a tournament total 12-under 276, Papadatos won by a stroke from Victorian Rory Bourke, who had an eagle putt on 18 to force a playoff.

It was a tough day for everyone in the field with wind gusts of up to 42km/h but Papadatos managed to keep his composure as the red dirt swirled.

“It was way tougher in that wind. You have to account for so many more things on every shot. On every putt I was allowing for more break and I was trying to work out where the wind was coming from because it was swirling. It was pretty difficult and very draining playing in those conditions,” said Papadatos, who saw his lead diminish to just one shot after he doubled the 15th hole.

“I thought I was still leading by a shot, I was still in a good position to win the tournament so there was no reason to throw the toys out of the cot.

Web.com - BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation

27-year-old Stephen Jaeger from Munich, Germany was one clear of Tyler Duncan, China’s Xinjun Zhang and Andrew Yun after Saturday’s third round.

“I didn’t miss a shot today, which was cool,” Jaeger joked. “It’s unfortunate. I was ready to play, I was ready to compete today, but the rain was not letting up and the golf course can only take so much.”

Jaeger separated himself from a crowded leaderboard with two eagles at Furman University Golf Club on Saturday afternoon and carded a 7-under-par 65 to post 19-under-par 195. The tournament-winning eagle came at the par-5 sixth where he hit a gap wedge from 138 yards to 2 feet and tapped in to take the lead.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done that. Honestly, I can’t remember. It’s been first in a long time,” Jaeger said on Saturday. “That second one was pretty easy. That’s it. It sounds simpler than it is, I guess.”

After falling just $3,243 short of earning his PGA TOUR card a year ago with a 28th-place finish on the Regular Season money list, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga grad picked up a first-place check worth $126,000 on Sunday when officials cancelled the final round.

MENA Golf Tour – Pattana Golf Championship

A stunning burst of birdies coming home powered Fredrik From to a convincing three-shot victory in the MENA Tour’s rain-truncated Pattana Golf Championship on Friday.

Starting the day a good four shots back, From blazed the course with a bogey-free nine-under 63, studded with seven birdies on the back nine, to seal his first win on the MENA Tour on 13-under 131 and a second for a Swede after Per Barth, who achieved the feat at the 2015 Shaikh Maktoum Dubai Open.

Venezuela’s Wolmer Murillo reeled off seven birdies against a lone bogey in his closing six-under 66 to finish solo second, one clear of England’s Jordan Garnish and American Roberto Galletti, who fired two eagles, including one on par-4, sixth, en route to his final round 67.

Overnight leader Jose Ignacio Marin Casado of Spain slipped into a three-way tie for fifth on eight-under after carding a level-par 72 alongside the Thai duo of Nakul Vichitryuthasastr and Wanich Petcharit.

On a day when 45 minutes were lost due to the threat of lightning, everything went From’s way as he easily out-paced the field in a virtuoso effort that left everyone marvelling at his ball-striking prowess.

“Feel really delighted to get the job done this time around after having lost out in a couple of playoffs on the MENA Tour,” said From after receiving the winner’s trophy from Thomas Topken, managing director of Pattana Golf Club.

“Everything worked well for me. I hit all the greens in regulation which was great. This course is my favourite now. There are so many scoring opportunities out there, especially on the back nine. I will be playing in MENA Tour’s events in South Africa and see if I can win the order of merit,” said the 27-year-old who graduated from the MENA Tour’s Qualifying School in 2016.

Alps Tour Golf – 25th Gösser Open

Austria’s Lukas Nemecz won the 25th Gösser Open on home soil. With final round 68 for -15 total, completed the 54 hole tournament with a 2 shot lead over France’s rookie Ugo Coussaud.

“Emotionally it is just really awesome. Winning a home tournament, it was great fun. It was a great week because I started shooting 64 on the first day and from that day I never left the lead. It makes a lot of fun, it was really thrilling at the end, I knew that some guys were coming close. I had a very good season on the Alps Tour in 2013 when I manage to go out for the Challenge Tour, I had a lot of top 5 and two or three runner up but I never won. The following year my brother won twice including the Gösser Open, and he is my younger brother so it is nice to at least win once, I am only one short of him now”!

EuroPro Tour - The IFX Championship

Hugo Dobson carded a final-round 66 to win the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour’s IFX Championship by two shots on -12 at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire.

Dobson (Woodbridge Golf Club) battled Steve Robins (Hull Golf Club) for most of the final round, though Chris Lloyd’s (The Kendleshire) final-round 64 to come from par at the start to eight under and share third with Connor Tendall (Congressional Country Club; 70, 66) kept the pressure on the leading pair.

The Kent man lead on six under after the first round of the tournament, which was reduced to 36 holes after heavy and persistent rain washed out most of Wednesday’s play.

After going out in 32 and birdieing the tenth on the par-72 Blue Course, Dobson dropped to a share of the -10 lead with Robins when he bogeyed 14. However, an eagle at 15 took him to -12, a two-shot lead he maintained for the rest of the tournament.

“It is the best week of my career,” said Dobson, who takes home £10,000 as well as a brand new Motocaddy S3 PRO electric trolley with lithium battery, Bushnell Pro X2 Range Finder and Bolle sunglasses.

Nordic Golf League - Stora Hotellet Bryggan Fjallbacka Open

Elias Bertheussen, from Trondheim GK, was at the top of Fjällbacka Open, part of the Swedish Golf Tour and the Nordic League, from beginning to end.

With three rounds under 70 (66-66-69), he finished twelve under par and won two strokes before Kårstas Marcus Eriksson and Icelandic Haraldur Magnus.

The victory resulted in 72 000 in prize and advancement to tenth place on the Nordic League rankings (top five are given a card to Challengtouren next year).

But the victory, the third in his career, meant more than the Norwegian. He has not been able to play and practice during the winter because of glandular fever.

 





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