Presidents Cup stays with US, Thitikul wins 2nd LPGA title
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jordan Spieth capped off a perfect week at the Presidents Cup and the Americans made it nine straight victories against an International team depleted by defections to Saudi-funded LIV Golf.
The Internationals showed plenty of fight. They just don’t have a cup to show for it.
That stays squarely in the hands of an American team that was coming off a record romp over Europe in the Ryder Cup last year.
Max Homa rallied from 3 down by winning four straight holes and then holding off Tom Kim for a 1-up victory that gave Homa a 4-0 week in his Presidents Cup debut.
Xander Schauffele delivered the clinching point when he made a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole for a 1-up victory over Corey Conners. That off an hourlong celebration to wait only for the result.
The final score was 17 1/2-12 1/2, not quite the rout it was at Liberty National in 2017 the last time the Americans played before the home crowd. Unlike the Ryder Cup, which attracts thousands of flag-waving European fans, the International team doesn’t have a fan base to united behind a continental flag or even a tour.
Spieth made putts from all over Quail Hollow for a 4-and-3 win over Cameron Davis that kept the Internationals — in need of their greatest Sunday singles performance — from gaining any early momentum.
Spieth became only the sixth player to win all five matches in the Presidents Cup, winning all four of his team matches with Justin Thomas.
ROGERS, Ark. (AP) — Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand closed with a 3-under 68 and birdied the second playoff hole to beat Danielle Kang and win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Sunday.
The victory made the 19-year-old the first LPGA player in five years to win twice in her rookie season. Sung Hyun Park posted multiple wins in 2017.
Thitikul and the 29-year-old Kang finished the 54-hole event at the Pinnacle Country Club tied at 17-under 196.
A six-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Kang was making her third tour start since June after undergoing treatment for a tumor on her spine.
Kang briefly took the lead, chipping in from near the green for an eagle at the final hole for a 64. Playing in the group behind her, Thitukul made a birdie at No. 17 to tie.
The two matched pars on No. 15, the first extra hole, and then Thitikul made a mid-range birdie putt on No. 16 to win.
Thitukul had won the JTBC Classic earlier the season in a playoff.
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) — Guido Migliozzi tied the course record with a 9-under 62 and rallied for a one-shot victory over Rasmus Hojgaard in the French Open on Sunday.
It was the 25-year-old Migliozzi’s third European tour win, his first in three years, and one he’ll remember a very long time.
When Migliozzi finished on 16-under 268, he was one shot ahead of Hojgaard, who had two holes left to play. The 21-year-old Dane’s par on the 17th left him needing a birdie on the par-4 18th to force a playoff.
But Hojgaard, who had led since posting a 62 of his own in Thursday’s opening round, drove into the rough. He landed his approach shot cleanly, but needed a 48-feet putt for birdie and fell 7 feet short to finish with a 3-under 68 for 15 under overall.
It was a bitter end to the tournament for Hojgaard, who had a six-shot lead after 36 holes.
Frenchman Paul Barjon (70), South African George Coetzee (71) and Belgian Thomas Pieters (70) failed to apply pressure on a wide-open last day and finished four shots behind Hojgaard in a tie for third at 11 under.
The tournament was not played over the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Steve Flesch birdied the 18th hole at Pebble Beach to win the Pure Insurance Championship, his second PGA Tour Champions victory of the season.
Flesch birdied the first four holes and five on the front nine in a strong start, then stalled on the back. But he got the only birdie he needed on the par-5 finishing hole for a one-stroke victory over Ernie Els, Steven Alker and Paul Stankowski.
Flesch closed with a 4-under 68 for a three-round total of 11-under 205 and earned $330,000. The 55-year-old won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic in May.
Alker, the Charles Schwab Cup money leader, was looking to become the first four-time winner on the over-50 tour this year. Els had the best round of the day, an 8-under 64, but came up just short of his first victory of the season.
Britney Yada closed with a 7-under 65 for a two-shot victory over Bailey Tardy int he Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout on the Epson Tour. ... Klara Spilkova closed with a 5-under 67 and made birdie on the first extra hole to outlast Ursula Wikstrom and Nicole Broch Estrup and win the KPMG Women’s Irish Open for her second Ladies European Tour title. ... Daniel Hillier of New Zealand shot an 8-under 64 and won the Swiss Challenge by two shots over Jeong weon Ko on the Challenge Tour. ... Taiga Semikawa closed with a 6-under 66 for a one-shot victory over Aguri Iwasaki in the Panasonic Open, becoming only the sixth amateur to win on the Japan Golf Tour. ... Travis Smyth of Australia shot 6-under 66 and won the Yeangder TPC on the Asian Tour by two shots over Chieh-po Lee of Taiwan. Smyth is the first player to compete on LIV Golf and then win on an established tour. He earned $126,000 for the win. He has made $846,000 in three LIV Golf events without finishing in the top 20. ... MJ Viljoen closed with a 2-under 68 for a three-shot victory in the SunBet Challenge, his first victory in five years on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. ... Miyuu Yamashita, who opened with a 60, finished her wire-to-wire victory with a 1-under 71 for a five-shot victory in the Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open on the Japan LPGA. ... Su Ji Kim closed with a 2-under 70 for a one-shot victory over Yewon Lee in the OK Financial Group Se Ri Pak Invitational on the Korea LPGA.
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