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Week 43: Rose back in World's top 10

October 30, 2017

WGC – HSBC Champions

Justin Rose produced the biggest comeback of the season to win seventeenth title on a dramatic final day of the WGC-HSBC Champions.

The Englishman was eight shots behind Dustin Johnson - who was six clear at the top of the leaderboard - when he teed off and remained six behind at the turn after playing his first nine holes at Sheshan International Golf Club in level par.

Rose then produced five birdies in a stunning back nine of 31 to get to 14 under after a 67, with Johnson slumping to a closing 77.

The World Number One finished in a tie for second at 12 under alongside Swede Henrik Stenson and reigning US Open champion Brooks Koepka.

The victory is Rose's second World Golf Championships title after the 2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship.

"This is really, really satisfying," he said. "All players pride themselves on winning and I've won every year since 2010 (worldwide). I was very aware that that was slipping away from me this year.

"To win a WGC is just amazing, they count for so much on both tours. It's an incredible start to my 2018 PGA Tour campaign and gives me a real shot in the Race to Dubai as well."

Any thoughts of a procession for Johnson were quickly forgotten as the World Number One got in bunker trouble to drop a shot on the first and then lost his ball off the second tee for a bogey-bogey start.

Rose took advantage of the par five second and when he holed a lengthy double-breaker over the ridge on the third, he was alongside Koepka four shots back.

PGA Tour - Sanderson Farms Championship

41-year-old Ryan Armour earned his first PGA TOUR win on Sunday, shooting a 4-under 68 to beat Chesson Hadley by five shots at the Country Club of Jackson.

Armour began the final round with a five-shot lead and was never seriously challenged. He won for the first time in 105 career starts, nailing fairway after fairway in bright sunshine and cool temperatures to avoid any drama.

"It's a big monkey off my back, I'm not going to lie," said Armour, who finished at 19 under for the tournament. "There's a lot of emotions running through my head. Part of me wants to fly home immediately and see my wife and kids.

"And part of me wants to go hang out with the boys."

Jonathan Randolph — a Jackson-area native playing on his home course — briefly made a charge with seven birdies over his first nine holes. That pushed him to 14 under, but Armour was able to maintain some separation thanks to three birdies on his first seven holes.

Randolph eventually cooled off and Armour methodically worked his way around the course with short, but straight drives. He had six birdies and two bogeys on Sunday and shot 68 or better in all four rounds.

At times, his drives would be 30 or 40 yards behind playing partners Hadley and Scott Strohmeyer, but his short game and putting were terrific.

"It's validation that you don't have to hit it 330 in the air to still win golf tournaments," Armour said. "I hit a lot of fairways. I hit a lot of greens and made a lot of putts and somehow you still win."

Asian Tour - Indonesia Open

Young Thai talent Panuphol Pittayarat completed a total of 25 holes on Sunday to claim a commanding five-shot victory for his maiden Asian Tour title at the weather-hit Indonesia Open.

The 24-year-old Panuphol returned in the morning to finish the remaining seven holes from his third round where he signed for a five-under-par 67 to lead by three shots heading into the final round.

Panuphol traded three birdies against a bogey for an outward 34, grabbing just a one-shot edge over a fast-charging countryman Tirawat Kaewsiribandit, who closed in with four birdies, at the turn.

Panuphol, however, pulled clear with three straight birdies from the 10th hole before adding two more birdies in his closing five holes for a final round 65 and a winning total of 23-under-par 265 at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.

Tirawat returned with a second straight 67 to settle for second place while Jazz Janewattananond and Namchok Tantipokhakul, also of Thailand, shared third place on 273 following respective rounds of 67 and 69 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.

The penultimate round of the Indonesia Open was affected by a lengthy rain delay on Saturday. A total of 57 players returned on Sunday morning to complete their third rounds with the final round being played concurrently. There was no redraw for the players’ groups for the final round.

Challenge Tour - Ras Al Khaimah, 2017 Golf Challenge

Jens Dantorp played one of the shots of the season to seal a memorable victory at the Ras Al Khaimah 2017 Golf Challenge, overcoming Adrian Meronk in a dramatic play-off with a sensational eagle.

The Swede had narrowly missed out on an eagle that would have won the title in regulation play, tapping in for a birdie to take the tournament to extra holes at Al Hamra GC, but at the second time of asking he put his approach to six feet on the par five 18th hole and rolled in the putt to better his opponent’s birdie.

The result could not have been more timely as it secured Dantorp his place in next week’s NBO Golf Classic Grand Final – only the top 45 in the Road to Oman Rankings will contest the Muscat shootout and the 28 year old climbed 35 places to 13th place with this win.

The top 15 in the Rankings in one week’s time will earn European Tour cards and for Dantorp, this would mean joining Henrik Stenson in the Race to Dubai – the man who he credited for inspiring his victory-sealing approach.

“It’s one of the best shots of my career,” he said. “I just had one shot in mind walking up 18: Henrik Stenson’s in Dubai on 18 a couple of years ago. I tried to repeat that and I was close on the first time – the second time I pulled it off though.

“It feels great to win. It’s been a couple of years since my last win so I was really chasing another one and today was the day, so it feels great.

“I don’t know what it is about the Middle East that brings out my best golf. I enjoy it when it’s warm, I like the grass around here and I’m just comfortable around these courses.

Japan Golf Tour - Mynavi ABC Championship

Tatsuya Kodai won the Mynavi ABC Championship moving from World No. 1020 to 401.

Korean Golf Tour - Hyundai Insurance KJ CHOI INVITATIONAL

Veteran' Hwang Inchoon (43) won the Hyundai Insurance KJ CHOI INVITATIONAL moving from World No. 664 to 420.

On the final day of the tournament, Hwang In-choon scored five birdies and four bogeys to reduce one to record a total of 11-under-par 277.

Sunshine Tour – Sun Sibaya Challenge

Alex Haindl ended an 11-year trophy drought in style at Mount Edgecombe Golf Club as he sunk a 45-footer putt for eagle to win the R750 000 Sun Sibaya Challenge by a single shot from Jared Harvey on Friday.

He finished the tournament 16-under-par 200.

“The last hole was great,” he said after his round. “I hit my tee shot a bit left, trying not to go right, obviously. And I hit a really good second shot, and the last putt, I was, obviously, trying to make but also trying to get it close and seeing it go in was a bonus. It was great.”

It was a spectacular effort from the Bloemfontein resident because, at one stage, it looked like a six-man play-off was inevitable, but it eventually proved to be a race between himself and Harvey who missed his eagle putt on 18 and settled for a birdie. Haindl didn’t make the same mistake.

“Obviously there were nerves,” Haindl said of the pressure on those last two holes. “But, I kind of knew what I had to do so that makes it a bit easier. I knew I had to go birdie-birdie, at the worst and try to get into a play-off. My brother kept me in there as well. It’s very nice having him on the bag. He’s very experienced, he’s been in Europe for a long time.”

This win caps what has been a really solid season for 34-year old, because, despite having last tasted victory some 11 years ago at the Suncoast Classic back in 2006, he has missed only one cut, and he boasts five top-10s in the 13 events he’s played this season.

“I’ve always said that I’d love to win again but it isn’t the only thing that I’m going for,” he said. “I just try to put together as many good events as possible. So to win is very nice. It’s a little bonus.”

MENA Tour – MENA Tour Championship

Maintaining his sublime form, Henric Sturehed smoked the field with a massive nine-shot victory at the MENA Tour Championship as England’s Jamie Elson wrapped up the Order of Merit title at Al Zorah Golf Club on Thursday.

A good seven shots in front overnight, Sturehed, who shot a course-record 63 in second round, closed with a 69 to reach 21 under for the tournament, leaving the rest of the field trailing in his wake for his maiden win on the MENA Tour that propelled him to second position on the Order of Merit.

Jake Shepherd, a two-time winner on the tour, went bogey-free in his final-round six-under 66 to finish a creditable second at 12-under, two clear of fellow Englishman Andrew Marshall and Adam Sagar.

Jamie Elson returned a level-par 72 to join fellow Englishmen Joe Heraty and Luke Joy in a three-way tie for fifth on nine-under 279 and that was good enough for him to seal the prestigious Order of Merit title ahead of Sturehed.

England’s Todd Clements, five under through 14, signed for a 68 to win the amateur division on five-under 283 for the sixth time in a row, a virtuoso effort that crowned him the leading amateur of the MENA Tour with Sam Hobday finishing second.

It was a dominant performance all week from Sturehed, going almost unchallenged for his fifth professional win since joining the paid ranks in 2012.

“Absolutely delighted with my first win on the MENA Tour. It was nice to string together all four rounds under par and finally get the job done after being in contention for a couple of times,” Sturehed said after receiving the winner’s trophy from Salim Fleyfal, Business Development Manager at Al Zorah.

“I felt really comfortable out there, like I was in control of my game. It was my first season on the MENA Tour and I really enjoyed the whole experience. There are many good players out there and it was fun competing with them.

“I have made many new good friends and hope to return next year to join in the fun,” said the 27-year-old who became the fourth Swede after Per Barth, Christofer Blomstrand and Fredrik From to win a MENA Tour event”.

PGA Tour LatinoAmerica – Roberto De Vicenzo Punta del Este Open Copa NEC

Leading from start to finish for a comfortable four-stroke victory at the 2017 Roberto De Vicenzo Punta del Este Open Copa NEC, Brian Richey carded a 1-under 69 on Sunday to finish the week at 16-under 264. The 31-year old from Lakeland, Florida, became the third wire-to-wire champion this year on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.

“To get a lead early and never lose it, it’s hard to do that. I’m really happy and proud of how I played,” said Richey, who opened a six-shot lead after rounds of 64-63 and then kept control with scores of 68-69 during the weekend.

With the win and the $31,500-dollar check he collected at Club del Lago Golf, the Florida Southern College graduate charged into the second spot of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit. He also became the first player to gather seven top-10 finishes this season.

PGA Tour of Australasia - Isuzu Queensland Open

West Australian Michael Sim has won a thrilling edition of the 2017 Isuzu Queensland Open, his first title on Australian soil.

Starting the day on 7-under par, Sim shot 2-under and showed his class on the 18th, rolling in a 12 foot putt to finish 9-under and apply the pressure to New Zealand's Harry Bateman who would tee it up on 18 at 8-under.

Bateman would eventually hit bogey on the final hole and Sim claimed his first Professional title since 2009.

"It's an incredible feeling, it's an emotional feeling, I never thought this might happen again and it's my first Professional win in Australia, there's a lot to look forward to," Sim said.

Playing a group ahead of leader Bateman, Sim said he never looked at the scoreboard until an impressive wedge shot set up his look at birdie.

“I never thought I was chance to win until really my wedge shot on the last saw and there was three or four guys on 8-under, I was just going about my own business.

"That might've been a little bit different if I was in the last group but I guess I had a little bit of freedom of not knowing so I just took it shot-by-shot."

The win now gives him the security of a spot full-time on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of 2017 and 2018.

Asian Development Tour - PGM MIDF Championship

Kasidit Lepkurte of Thailand maintained his composure to close with a two-under-par 70 and win his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM MIDF Championship on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Kasidit, who held a three-shot lead heading into the final round, traded three birdies against one bogey to win by three shots on 12-under-par 276 total at the Templer Park Country Club.

Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas, who had led the first two rounds, matched Kasidit’s efforts of a 70 to settle for second place at the RM250,000 (approx. US$55,000) ADT event.

Shariffuddin Ariffin emerged as the highest-placed Malaysian after marking his best round of the week with a 66. He grabbed a share of third place with Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn and South African Mathaim Keyser, who returned with matching 69s.

“I never really felt the pressure as at the back of my mind, I knew I have a three-shot cushion at the start of the round,” said a jubilant Kasidit. “But it was after the birdie on the ninth when I felt really confident about winning the tournament.”

Kasidit joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2015 and he has enjoyed a top-10 finish last month prior to his win.

EuroPro Tour – Tour Championship Amendoeira Golf Resort

Adam Chapman clinched the PGA EuroPro Tour Sky Sports Tour Championship in style, leading from wire to wire and collected an ace in the process.

Chapman (Carus Green Golf Club) started his final round in less than convincing fashion, picking up two bogies and just on birdie in his first six holes whilst MK Kim (Golfmind Korea) hit three birdies to tie the lead.

“In a way, it put my mind off the title and made me get a grip of myself. I preferred being level trying to chase the win; I almost felt too comfortable with a four-shot lead.”: said Chapman, who who wins £22,540 as well as a brand new Motocaddy S3 PRO electric trolley with lithium battery, Bushnell Pro X2 Range Finder and Bolle sunglasses.

His first win of the EuroPro season sees him finish third in the Order of Merit and earn a Challenge Tour card for 2018; he started the week ranked 54th.

After picking up an ace in his second round he almost repeated the feat on the 11th hole on his final round. He said: “I wasn’t attacking the pin as it was 163 yards into wind, but I pulled it. As I hit it I really thought this can’t happen again.”

With the season now complete the top five on the tour standings earn a category on next year’s Challenge Tour. Injured Chris Lloyd (The Kendleshire) claimed the top spot by less than £600, he is followed by rookie of the year MK Kim in second.



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