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Week 26: Fleetwood breaks into the top 15

July 03, 2017

European Tour - HNA Open de France

Tommy Fleetwood moved to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex as he won the second Rolex Series event at the HNA Open de France.

The Englishman arrived at Le Golf National as one of the form players on the European Tour but with a poor record on the course that will host next year's Ryder Cup having never made the cut or even broken par in Paris.

He put that right in some style with a closing bogey-free 66 that gave him a 12 under par total and a one-shot victory over American Peter Uihlein.

For Uihlein there was the consolation of earning a spot at the Open Championship along with home favourite Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Swede Alexander Björk, who both finished in a share of third at eight under alongside Dane Thorbjørn Olesen.

The victory is Fleetwood's second of the season after the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the winner's cheque of 1,040,824.34 euros moves him above the season's only other multiple winner so far - Sergio Garcia - to the top of the European standings.

PGA Tour – Quicken Loans National

The eyes welled up and the voice broke as Kyle Stanley felt the enormity of what he’d done. After losing whatever had made him a hot young prospect, going down to the Tour, and building himself back up, he’d won again for the first time in more than five years.

“There was some doubt there for a little bit,” Stanley said, wiping away the tears after outlasting Howell and a brief rain storm. “Yeah, I mean, it's no fun. You certainly question if you'll get back to, you know, and have a moment like this. It makes this pretty special, for sure.”

Stanley moved from 38th to 14th in FedExCup points with the victory, which he secured with a par putt of just under five feet on the first playoff hole. He also qualified for the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, July 20-23.

Howell’s birdie try from just over 21 feet on the last hole of regulation barely slid by the left edge, leading to the playoff. The 38-year-old was making his 294th start since his last victory (2007 Nissan Open), and his first start after a nine-week break due to a rib injury.

“I was going nuts because I couldn’t do anything,” Howell said of his break, which had sidelined him since the RBC Heritage (T56) in April. “I could putt and I could ride a bike and that was it. It was a long nine weeks, but I’m glad to be back and hopefully I can stay healthy.”

Stanley, 29, is glad to be back, too. He burst onto the scene with a win at the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open, but his game left him and he soon flat-lined. Then his trajectory went down. He finished 158th in the FedExCup in 2014, then alternated between the PGA TOUR and the in 2015, dropping to 181st in the FedExCup.

Korean Golf Tour – Caido Series 2017 - NS HomeShopping Gunsan CC Jeonbuk Open

After coming up just short last week at the KPGA Championship, Hyungjoon Lee continued his impressive current form and it finally paid off with a two shot victory at the KPGA Caido Series Jeonbuk Open.

H. Lee started the final day with a four stroke lead, which was extended to five over his closest rival Junseok Lee, with just 9 holes remaining. He looked to be cruising to victory, but you can’t take anything for granted in this game, and the back nine was ready to create some drama.

Having gone 63 holes without a dropped shot, H. Lee looked extremely disappointed to bogey the 10th hole, after a poor chip from beside the green. However, there was some consolation in the fact that J. Lee also bogeyed, maintaining his five stroke lead.

Challenge Tour – SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

Richard McEvoy claimed his second European Challenge Tour title in style by carding a five under par 66 to triumph at the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.

The Englishman started the day with a one-shot lead which he immediately extended with birdies at the second and third at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club.

After coming within inches of a hole-in-one on the par three sixth, the 38 year old bagged further gains at the seventh and ninth to reach the turn in 30.

McEvoy, who won his first Challenge Tour title at the Panasonic Panama Open in 2004, was four shots clear of the field after picking up another birdie at the tenth – a lead the man from Essex never surrendered as he eased home to finish four ahead of his nearest challenger James Heath.

Having waited 13 years to return to the winner’s circle, McEvoy was delighted to have been able to get over the line in the Scottish Highlands.

“I never stopped believing I could win again,” he said. “I’ve been playing a lot of good golf this year. I came really close to winning in Austria on the European Tour last month, so I came into this week in really good form. Tour – Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation

Lanto Griffin became the first player since 2004 on the Tour to win after making the cut on the number with weekend rounds of 62-68 at the Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation. After narrowly missing a 12-foot birdie putt for the win on the 72nd hole, Griffin holed an uphill, 20-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to defeat Abraham Ancer for his first career Tour victory.

“’Bout as surprised as you guys are,” Griffin said. “Sometimes it just happens. Sometimes it’s just your week. I got a lot of good breaks yesterday. I think I played the front in 1-under on Friday to make the cut on the number. I was more nervous on the putt on Friday to make the cut than I was on any putt today. That’s the truth. To make the cut on the number and win, that’s kind of a dream come true.”

Griffin is only the third player in Tour history to make the cut on the number and win, with the last being Justin Bolli at the 2004 Chattanooga Classic. The results hadn’t been trending in the direction of a Griffin victory.

Asian Development Tour - Betagro All Thailand Championship

Tirawat Kaewsiribandit of Thailand battled through a back injury to claim a stylish three-shot victory at the Betagro All Thailand Championship on Sunday.

The 27-year-old posted a flawless six-under-par 64, thanks to three closing birdies, to defeat countryman Suradit Yongcharoenchai (66) for his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the Laem Chabang International Country Club.

Tirawat’s winning total of 23-under-par 257 earned him US$13,262 and six Official World Golf Ranking points. The victory also moved him to fourth place on the ADT Order of Merit.

Panuphol Pittayarat and Danthai Boonma of Thailand settled for tied third place following a 64 and 66 respectively at the three million Baht (approximately US$87,209) ADT event.

The talented Tirawat struggled with a back injury which forced him to withdraw from last week’s Taifong Open on the ADT. He overcame the pain barrier this week after going through regular physiotherapy.

Nordic Golf League – SM Match

Icelander Axel Boasson was finally victorious in the men's side after defeating Danish Daniel Løkke in the final. Although the match ended 3 & 1 and settled on hole 17.

Boasson earned 4 ranking points moving from 896 to World No. 641.

EuroPro Tour – the GRENKE Championship

Neil Raymond won the GRENKE Championship at Cumberwell Park, birdieing the second play-off hole to fend off John Henry in the PGA EuroPro Tour event.

Raymond (Corhampton Golf Club; 65, 65, 66) birdied the final two holes in regulation to sign for a five-under-par final round and join Henry (Clydebank and District; 67, 65, 66) in a play-off.

Both birdied the first additional hole, the 18th, which both had also scored three on in regulation – Henry had done the same in all three tournament rounds. They returned to the 18th tee for the second additional hole and this time Raymond put his approach to within a few feet of the flag, while Henry was some 20 feet out.

The Scot saw his first putt race past the hole and though he made par coming back, Raymond took advantage as he sunk his birdie putt for a £10,000 victory which sees him leap to third on the Race To Amendoeira.

“I enjoyed some great years as an amateur and finding my feet as a pro didn’t go how I liked but today, I am delighted. I made two bogeys early on but my attitude was good, my processes stayed exactly how they were all week so I was happy to find my feet after a pretty nervy first few holes.

“In the play-off I stayed calm and the putting work I have been doing is starting to show in tournaments. Two birdies in the play-off is what you do the work for. My swing held up under pressure and I was able to hole the putts.”


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