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Week 34: Johnson extends his lead at the top

August 29, 2017


PGA Tour – The Norther Trust

In Sunday’s final round of THE NORTHERN TRUST, the opening event of the FedExCup Playoffs, Dustin Johnson prevailed in a sudden-death playoff with Jordan Spieth. They finished regulation tied at 13-under, Johnson relied on his strength and powered a drive over the lake to the far edge of the fairway. It was the longest drive all week on the 18th hole, and it left him a 60-degree wedge to 4 feet for birdie and a victory he badly needed.

The No. 1 player in the golf finally looked the part again.

"It was fun to be in the hunt again and know that my game is going to hold up under pressure," Johnson said.

Spieth lost for the first time in six tries when leading by two shots or more, and there wasn't much he could do except take back that tee shot into the water on the par-3 sixth hole after building a five-shot lead. Johnson played bogey-free over the final 29 holes.

"I didn't lose the tournament," Spieth said after closing with a 69. "He won it."

It was great theater between Johnson and Spieth, good friends who now are No. 1 and No. 2 in the world.

"I thought that was a fun show," Spieth said. "I was hoping it wasn't going to be that much fun."

Johnson made up a five-shot deficit in five holes, and they battled along the back nine with big shots and big moments.

They were tied on the par-3 17th when both hit into a bunker, and Johnson blasted out to 4 feet with an easier shot and angle to the hole. Spieth had 18 feet for par and knocked it in, like he always seems to do.

On the closing hole, Johnson showed the kind of golf I.Q. that belies his simple outlook on life. After he sliced his drive up the hill and into a nasty lie in the rough, he chose to lay up instead of trying to hammer a shot to an elevated green.

But he made it pay off with a par, that got him into the playoff after Spieth lagged a 75-foot putt perfectly to get his par.267, and Johnson made birdie on the first extra hole.

Japan Golf Tour – RIZAP KBC Augusta

Yuta Ikeda won his 17th Japan Golf Tour tile at the RIZAP KBC Augusta moving to World No.63.

European Tour – Made In Denmark

Julian Suri claimed his maiden European Tour title after seeing off the challenge of David Horsey in a thrilling final round at the Made in Denmark.

American Suri produced a flawless 64 on Sunday to finish the week on 19 under par and secure his first victory in just his seventh European Tour event.

Horsey was one stroke adrift of playing partner Suri as they stood at the 18th tee but finished four shots back in second after carding a disappointing triple bogey at the last.

Suri, who won the D+D REAL Czech Challenge in May, becomes the third American to win on the European Tour and Challenge Tour, following in the footsteps of Brooks Koepka and Peter Uihlein.

Englishmen Ben Evans, Steve Webster and Chris Paisley were in a tie for third on 13 under par.

Suri began the day two shots behind overnight leader Horsey but picked up an early birdie at the second after sending his tee-shot to within three feet of the pin.

The 26 year old then took the outright lead when he curled in from six feet for a birdie at the third before picking up another shot at the fourth to make it three birdies in a row.

And after making another gain at the seventh, Suri knocked in his six-foot birdie putt at the eighth to move to 17 under.

With Suri reeling off five straight pars from the ninth, Horsey joined him at the summit after making back-to-back gains at the 11th and 12th.

Web.com Tour - WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz

Brice Garnett won by four shots over a quartet of players after a 6-under-par 65 on Sunday at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz.

Thanks to his four-shot victory, his second of the season, Brice Garnett sits at No. 1 by nearly $55,000, and earns full PGA TOUR status for 2017-18.

Sunshine Tour – Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge

Oliver Bekker won his third title of the season when he shot a final round five-under-par 65 on Friday to total 11-under-par 199 and win the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge by three strokes.

Bekker came into the final round one shot off the lead. He made two birdies on the front nine and a bogey but his homeward stretch was more eventful as he made three more birdies. Further gains were made when he eagled the par-five 16th to take the game beyond the chasing trio of Tyrone Ferreira, Ockie Strydom and Alex Haindl.

“Today was probably the toughest,” he said, “I think today was harder than most of my other rounds but I think I handled it nicely.

In what looks to be his best season by far, Bekker now boasts three Sunshine Tour titles as he won the Zambia Sugar Open, the Lombard Insurance Classic and now the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge. Not only that, Bekker also sits at the summit of the Order of Merit and following this victory, he will surely be the man to beat in the following events on the calendar.

“I think it’s mind set change,” he said of his season so far, “and, I think it’s got a lot to do with inside of me; I have changed. I think that has changed everything in my golfing career, really. I still get a bit upset during a bad round but I tend to get over it easier and a lot quicker.” Playing in windy conditions, Bekker held it together and he was rewarded at the end of it all.

While celebrating his victory, Bekker is already looking forward to the next event. “Next week I am playing Zimbali,” he said, “so, I am staying on the Sunshine Tour this year and I will see where I finish on the Order of Merit.”

Challenge Tour - Rolex Trophy

Pedro Oriol claimed a maiden European Challenge Tour victory at the Rolex Trophy by overcoming Adrien Saddier in a play-off at Golf Club de Genève and credited a trip to the legendary Seve Ballesteros’ house for inspiring his success.

The Spaniard, who moves up to third in the Road to Oman Rankings, fired a seven under par final round of 65 to set the clubhouse target on 17 under par before Saddier missed a putt to win, bogeying the last to set up the first play-off of the season.

The Frenchman played first, putting his tee shot into the water, and Oriol sensibly laid up on the short par four 16th, chipping on and making sure with two putts for a par that beat Saddier’s bogey.

Oriol’s maiden win comes almost exactly eight years after he turned professional but it was his recent visit to see his friend Javier Ballesteros, son of the golfing great, that was closest to his mind as he toasted his dramatic victory.

“It’s very special because last weekend I was in Seve’s house with his son,” said the 31 year old. “Javier is a great friend of mine and I was sleeping in his home, I went to the room with his golf clubs, and I took a lot of inspiration this week.

“His son gave me this visor with Seve’s outline on it – usually I change my visor every day but I wore this all week and it has inspired me, so it’s very special for me to win this week.

Asian Development Tour – Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament presented by Panasonic

Japan’s Masaru Takahashi sparked a superb final day charge with an eight-under-par 64 to end a four-year wait for his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament presented by Panasonic on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Japanese, who started the round six shots back, fired one eagle and four birdies to cap a brilliant front nine 30 before going on to sink four birdies against two bogeys to claim a one-shot victory on 19-under-par 269 total at the Damai Indah Golf, BSD Course.

Overnight leader Mardan Mamat of Singapore, who held a three-shot advantage heading into the round, came home strongly with two birdies in his last three holes but fell one shot shy of forcing a play-off after a 35-feet birdie putt lipped out on the last.

The 49-year-old Singaporean veteran, a five-time winner on the premier Asian Tour, closed with a battling 71 to settle for second place on his own at the US$110,000 event, which is the 10th leg of the ADT schedule and the Tour’s first stop in Indonesia this season.

American Casey O’Toole, 2015 ADT Order of Merit champion, carded a 68 to finish two shots back in third place with Thailand’s Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (69) while Danny Masrin closed with a second straight 68 to emerge as the best-placed Indonesian in tied-19th position on 277.

“I played solid today. Everything went well for me. I started really well. I had a chip-in for eagle from about 10 yards on the eighth hole. That gave me a lot of confidence heading into my back nine. I am really happy with this win. It has been a long time,” said Masaru.

Nordic Golf League - Landeryd Masters by Porsche Linköping

Daniel Jennevret won the Landeryd Masters by Porsche Linköping by one stroke ahead of Niklas Norgaard Moller.

KPGA Korean Tour - Caido Series 2017 Donga Membership Group Dynamic Busan Open

Hongtaek Kim won his KPGA Korean Tour at the Kaido Series Donga membership group dynamic Busan Open. He moves from World No. 1954 to 664.

EuroPro Tour - The "FORE" Business Championship

Min Kyu Kim claimed his second title in as many weeks at the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour’s FORE Business Championship.

Kim (Golfmind Korea) was the firm favourite heading into the final round after equalling the course record in his second round, carding a superb -9 (63).

However, the Korean blew the title race wide open after three bogies in his last three holes to finish +1, forcing a play-off with Niall Kearney (The Royal Dublin).

Kearney was deserving of a play off at least, after he finished 12-under par, carding an excellent -8 (64) final round in the process.

Both players parred the first play-off hole, before Kearney bogeyed the 18th on the second attempt which Kim comfortably putted for par.

“I’m so happy with my second win, I played really well up until my final three holes”: said Kim, who wins £10,000 as well as a brand new Motocaddy S3 PRO electric trolley with lithium battery, Bushnell Pro X2 Range Finder and Bolle sunglasses.

“I was really nervous heading into the play-off but I just tried to relax, manage my game, and tried to enjoy it. It’s been a really long day and I’m very tired but it felt great when that final putt fell in.”

 





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