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Week 23: Johnson back to World No.1

June 11, 2018

PGA Tour – FedEX St Jude

Dustin Johnson emphatically clinched the victory on Sunday, holing out for eagle from 170 yards on the final hole for a six-stroke victory in the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

"What a cool way to end the day," Johnson said.

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Johnson shot a 4-under 66 for his second PGA TOUR victory this season and 18th of his career to take back the No. 1 ranking he held for 64 straight weeks before dropping down a month ago. He won the event for the second time, finishing with the eagle, three birdies and a bogey for a 19-under 261 total.

Andrew Putnam started the final round with a share of the lead for the first time in his career. He shot 72 and finished at 13 under.

Preparing for the U.S. Open, Johnson took the lead by himself with a par on No. 1, while Putnam double-bogeyed, and cruised to the $1.18 million winner's check. Johnson turned in the lowest score under par by a winner here since David Toms won at 20 under in 2003, and that was before the course was redesigned with par dropped from 71 to 70 after the 2004 tournament.

Johnson, who won the U.S. Open in 2016, heads to Shinnecock Hills after stringing together four straight rounds in the 60s. He went 67, 63 and 65 before wrapping up a final round that felt almost like a practice round with the only question remaining how low Johnson would go.

At least until his dramatic walk-off eagle. Johnson was in the intermediate rough to the right of the fairway, and the ball bounced twice before rolling into the cup to bring fans to their feet.

J.B. Holmes (67) was at 9 under. Stewart Cink (72) and Richy Werenski (71) tied at 8 under. Brandt Snedeker (70) and Retief Goosen (66) tied four others at 7 under.

Phil Mickelson had a 65 and was at 6 under.

European Tour – Shot Clock Masters

Mikko Korhonen produced a brilliant display of front-running to blow away the field and win his first European Tour title at the Shot Clock Masters.

The Finn entered the final day with a five-shot advantage but his lead was cut to three in the early stages and he had to contend with two weather delays at Diamond Country Club.

Korhonen is no stranger to adversity after his 12 visits to the Qualifying School, though, and he signed for a closing 69, a 16 under par total and a six-shot victory over Scotland's Connor Syme.

The European Tour was breaking new ground this week with every player on the clock for every shot and penalties in place if shots were not played in the allotted time.

Only four players were handed penalties over the course of the week and with round times significantly quicker than the season average and players full of praise for the event, the innovative new format was a great success in Atzenbrugg.

KPGA Korean Golf Tour - Descente Korea Munsingwear Matchplay

Korea’s Meenwhee Kim won the Descente Korea Munsingwear Matchplay, moving to World No. 135.

Asian Tour – Thailand Open

Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand claimed a special victory at the Thailand Open after closing with an even-par 70 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event on Sunday.

The bubbly Thai became the fifth local player to lift the prestigious Thailand Open trophy after holding off the strong challenge from countryman Poom Saksansin at the Thai Country Club.

The 25-year-old Panuphol battled nerves heading into the final six holes where he bogeyed 13 and 18, and almost found the water hazard with his third shot on the par-five 17th hole. He held on to victory after signing for a 13-under-par 267 total.

The baby-faced Poom, who represented Asia at the EurAsia Cup earlier this year, overtook the lead early in the round but struggled to maintain his title charge following bogeys on 10 and 12.

He ended his campaign on a 70 to settle for second place, one shot back of the champion Panuphol while 20-year-old Sarit Suwannarut enjoyed his best result on the Asian Tour after securing third place.

The victory was especially sweet for Panuphol as he won the revered Thailand Open trophy on his home course. The victory also marked a return to form for the Thai who came into the tournament following four straight missed cuts.

Web.com Tour - Rust-Oleum Championship

28-year-old Chase Wright found himself in playoff Sunday afternoon at the Rust-Oleum Championship. Wright, who was tied with Alex Prugh at 17-under 271 at the end of regulation, birdied the second playoff hole to earn his maiden Web.com Tour victory in his 83rd start.

“This is so much sweeter,” said Wright, who moved to No. 5 on the money list. “This week was way more important than going out there for one week. I want to be out there for 30 weeks.”

Prugh finished 17-under first after three birdies on the final five holes. The 33-year-old from Spokane, Washington missed a 15-foot putt for birdie on the 72nd hole to post 18-under. Wright, who was in the group right behind Prugh, made par on the final three holes to end regulation at 17-under as well.

“I just wanted to not beat myself,” said Wright, who two-putted the par-3 17th from 80 feet away to remain in a tie with Prugh. “As long as I hung in there and did my thing, I would be fine.”

Wright did just that on second extra hole, hitting a 7-iron from 170 yards to 5 feet from the cup. After Prugh missed his birdie bid, the Muncie, Indiana native all but secured his PGA TOUR card by knocking in his birdie try.

“I kind of calmly knew it was going to happen all day,” said Wright, who started the day two strokes off the lead. “Even in some hard moments when I hit some bad shots, I got it up-and-down and went about my business.”

Challenge Tour - KPMG Trophy

Pedro Figueiredo triumphed in a dramatic three-way play-off to lift the KPMG Trophy and win his first European Challenge Tour title at L’Empereur Golf & Country Club.

The Portuguese posted a seven under par final round 64 for a 22 under total, level with Sweden’s Anton Karlsson and Welshman Stuart Manley, and then made a superb birdie to win on the first extra hole with his competitors unable to convert birdie chances of their own.

Figueiredo began the day four shots behind leader and playing partner Manley but in a round of twists and turns, Karlsson held a four-shot advantage with four holes to play, before an inspired Figueiredo forced a play-off with two birdies in his last four holes.

The Portuguese was first to putt in the play-off and fired his effort into the back of the cup before seeing Karlsson and Manley slide their efforts past the target, leaving Figueiredo somewhat lost for words after claiming his first Challenge Tour win.

“It feels really good to win,” he said. “It’s my first victory on the Challenge Tour. I’m beyond words, it feels really good.

“I’ve had a few tough years starting as a pro and now to come back strong and be able to win on the Challenge Tour means a lot to me. I’m very thankful for it and it feels really good.

Sunshine Tour - Sun City Challenge

It took Neil Schietekat all of five years to claim a second victory on the Sunshine Tour and after his triumph in the Sun City Challenge which he won with a total of six-under-par 210 on Thursday, the 34-year old admitted he’d begun to doubt whether he can win again.

“It feels amazing,” he said after his win at the Gary Player Country Club. “Just the other day I was thinking I don’t know if I was going to win again. You know, when you have not won for so long, you don’t know if you can do it again.”

That winless run ended this week. While he went into the final round trailing overnight leader, Jbe’ Kruger, by four shots, Schietekat knew he was not out of it yet and, in fact, had a real opportunity to make it two wins to his name.

He got off to a flying start in the final round, making back-to-back birdies on the first two holes before making a par on the third. He looked like he’d lose ground in the race for the top spot on the leaderboard when he dropped a shot on the par-three fourth hole. He would not make any other bogey on the front nine, and to the contrary, he collected three more birdies, on six, eight and nine on his way to a five-under 67 final round.

“I said to my caddie –I had Ray on the bag for the first time this week – ‘pars are a friend out here and if you make birdies, it’s good. If he (Kruger) comes back to us then obviously we’ve got a chance, which he can because this is a tough golf course,” he said of his mindset during the round.

PGA Tour LatinoAmerica - Bupa Match Play

Toni Hakula won the Bupa Match play moving from 1986 to World No.831.

EuroPro Tour - The PDC Golf Championship

Scott Fallon won the PDC Golf Championship at Studley Wood Golf Club with rounds of 66, 64, and 67 to win by six shots in a record breaking performance.

Fallon (North Middlesex) broke the record for the lowest winning score in HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour history with a staggering final score of 22-under par, the previous being 20-under par which was shot at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa in 2017.

Once the 28-year old picked up his first birdie of the day on the fifth hole, he never looked like slowing down, picking up a further three on the front nine alone. Three birdies and just one bogey on the back nine was all but enough to seal the title for Fallon.

A maiden win on the EuroPro Tour, one which Fallon has had to wait seven years for since he first debuted on the tour. “It feels amazing, to win an event which is close to home with all my friends and family watching was very special”: said Fallon.

He added: “It feels surreal to have broken that record with my win, but it still feels great though.”

With a five-shot lead heading into the final 18 holes he never looked in doubt. He said: “It was nice to get some early birdies, especially to get three in a row on the front nine. It eased the pressure, and because of that I didn’t make many mistakes. I think I’m playing the best golf of my career at this moment.”

Nordic Golf League - PGA Championship hosted by Ingelsta Kalkon

Morten Toft Hansen of Norway won the PGA Championship hosted by Ingelsta Kalkon moving to a career best of World No. 1016.

Big Easy Tour - Big Easy Challenge 4 – Randpark

Pretoria teenager Otto van Buynder staged a dramatic comeback to seal a sensational maiden victory on the Big Easy IGT Challenge Tour at Randpark Golf Club on Wednesday.

In just his second start on the new golf development circuit, Van Buynder led by six shots overnight, courtesy of an opening 11-under-par 61 and 70 in the second round at the Firestone Course.

Some thought it would be just a formality for him to win. Others thought the 19-year-old amateur would crumble under pressure.

Van Buynder did bend under the stress but, despite a very shaky front nine, he staved off a charging DK Kim to close out a two shot victory with a final round 73.

“I got it done thanks to three holes,” said the delighted HPC Golf Academy player, who beat the Korean by two shots on 12-under.

“I was nervous at the start of the round, especially after I bogeyed at two and three. A couple of guys made some early birdies and chipped away at my lead. I told myself it’s got to stop.”

Van Buynder stemmed the bleeding with a birdie at four, dropped another shot at five and recovered with another gain at six. “When I dropped at nine, DK closed in,” said the Blue Valley golfer.

“He had five birdies on the front nine and two more at 12 and 14 to cut my lead to one shot. So I had two choices: step it up or break under the pressure.

“I hit my tee shot at 10 left into threes. I had to punch out sideways and I ended up where the rest of the guys had hit their drives. I got on the green with my third and holed a six metre putt to save par. That was one of the key moments of the round.




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