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Week 29: Spieth wins 146th Open Championship

July 24, 2017


146th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth won his third Major in dramatic fashion with a brilliant battling final round performance at the 146th Open Championship moving to World No.2.

The American entered the day three shots clear of Matt Kuchar but found himself a shot behind his countryman with five holes to play on a remarkable afternoon at Royal Birkdale.

A stunning birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie run followed that saw him sign for a 69 and a 12 under par total that gave him a three-shot victory over his playing partner who also recorded a 69.

China's Li Haotong was then at six under, a shot clear of World Number Four Rory McIlroy and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, with South African Branden Grace, Swede Alex Noren, England's Matthew Southgate, US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Australian Marc Leishman at four under.

After winning the Masters Tournament and US Open in 2015, Spieth has now been crowned Champion Golfer of the Year for the first time and is just one step away from the career grand slam.

"It's incredible," he said. "This is one of the most sought after trophies in the world and the most sought after in our sport and to be able to have my name on it and already see that is a dream come true.

"My last goal now is to try and complete a career grand slam.

"Somehow it came from an errant drive, a crazy drop and a bogey to get me going. After that one went in I stuffed a six iron at the next hole and that putt went in. I was uncomfortable on the greens and all of a sudden I couldn't miss.

PGA Tour - Barbasol Championship

Grayson Murray, rookie won his first PGA TOUR title Sunday. He holed a 5-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory, moving to World No. 87.

Murray closed with a 3-under 68 to edge Chad Collins on Grand National's Lake Course. The 23-year-old former Wake Forest and Arizona State player set up the winning par with a long putt from below the hole. He finished at 21-under 263, a tournament record.

"I was in control," said Murray, who earned $630,000. "I didn't get out of my game plan once. I was going to let them make the mistakes instead of myself. I was going to make them have to birdie the last hole, or the last two holes. I was playing for par on 17 and 18. Those are two hard holes and I knew if I parred both of those they would have to do something special to beat me."

Murray arrived in Alabama a week earlier after suddenly finding himself with an open weekend. It paid off, the win securing him a spot in the PGA Championship in his home state of North Carolina, though not the Masters.

Murray came in ranked 124th in the FedEx Cup standings, with the top 125 qualifying for the playoffs. He jumped to 58th.

"My goal is to get in the playoffs this year," he said. "That was my goal. I didn't set my goals too high for my first year."

A big key to his victory: "That was the best I've ever driven it in my life."

Challenge Tour - Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge

Aaron Rai capped an incredible six months with a third European Challenge Tour victory of the season at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge, securing himself European Tour status in the process and moving to World No. 137.

The Englishman was ruthless on the final day at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil, recovering from a rare early blemish on the second hole to open up a two-shot advantage at the turn before he pulled emphatically away from the field on the back nine.

Four birdies in five holes from the 13th gave him a six-shot cushion coming down the last and his 18 under par total was ultimately five shots better than his playing partner and overnight co-leader Morten Ørum Madsen, whose closing birdie earned him second place outright.

Three victories in a season have earned Rai immediate promotion to the European Tour but, having now regained the lead in the Road to Oman Rankings, he will likely split his time between both tours for the remainder of the year.

Web.com Tour - Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Heartland Chevy Dealers

Sam Ryder, 27-year-old from Winter Park, Florida, became just the sixth player in Tour history to win an event by eight shots or more. His victory in Omaha propelled him to No. 2 on the money list and secured his PGA TOUR card for the 2017-18 season.

“This is the beginning of the journey for me,” said Ryder, who earned a first-place prize worth $108,000. “Now my goals are set for the PGA TOUR. There’s a big difference between second and first on the money list. My goal is to finish the season No. 1 and I’m in a good positon to do that now.”

Ryder’s ball striking was spot-on all week, but his putter was the difference-maker. The Stetson University grad made 24 birdies and an eagle this week. He ended the week second in putting thanks to some guidance from an eight-time PGA TOUR winner.

PGA Tour Canada - Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval

Florida’s Hank Lebioda shot a final round 4-under 66 on Sunday at Les Quatre Domaines Golf Club to win his first professional title at the Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval.

The 23-year old closed in style with a birdie at the 72nd hole to win by eight shots over Toronto, Ontario’s Daniel Kim, Rancho Cucamonga, California’s Rico Hoey and Atherton, California’s Jonathan Garrick, matching the PGA TOUR era record for largest margin of victory on the Mackenzie Tour.

“I’ve been putting in a whole lot of work this offseason and changed a lot of things about my game and myself, and I’m really proud to see the results show,” said Lebioda, a Florida State alum. “This is re-affirming that the work I put in is good work.”

Beginning the day with a two-stroke advantage over Kimberley, B.C.’s Jared du Toit, Lebioda polished off a 4-under 66 in Round 3, which had been suspended due to darkness on Saturday, giving himself a five-stroke advantage heading into the final round.

With a cushion to work with, Lebioda kept the field at bay with a solid 1-under front nine, then put the tournament’s result beyond question by holing his approach shot for eagle at the par-4 14th. With three more birdies down the stretch, he finished at 20-under for the week, capping things off with a fist-pump after draining a 20-foot birdie putt at the last.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I’ll tell you, I did play well. I was very happy and very confident with my game, and I think these next few days I’ll let it sink in,” said Lebioda.

EuroPro Tour - The COBRA PUMA GOLF Championship

Jonathan Caldwell carded a final-round 69 to win the COBRA PUMA GOLF Championship by two shots on nine under par on a wet and windy day at Machynys Peninsula Golf Club in Llanelli.

The HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour event was suspended for 1 hour 45 minutes in the early stages of the final round due to heavy and persistent rain causing standing water on the course. At that stage Caldwell (Clandeboye Golf Club) led on seven under par, with overnight leader Chris Evans (Hatchford Brook Golf Club) having started with a double and then triple bogey.

Jason Timmis (Greenway Hall Golf Club) put pressure on the Northern Irishman with a fantastic final-round 67, five under par, to finish seven under but four birdies to just one bogey on the back nine saw Caldwell to nine under and his second EuroPro title.

Alps Tour Golf – Lignano Open

Austria’s Markus Habeler sealed maiden win defeating three opponents during play-off at 2017 Lignano Open. The 24 year old player shot 68 for final round and -16 total.

They were three more players to reach the same score, overnight leader Xavier Poncelet with 69 last round, HP Bacher from Austria and France’s Robin Roussel. The latter got into a play-off in Saint Malo Open, a fortnight ago.

This event was the last counting for Top 6 players getting an exemption for European Tour Stage 1 and play directly Stage 2 in November. Ugo Coussaud, Adria Arnaus, Robin Roussel, Lars Van Meijel, JB Gonnet and Lukas Nemecz will avoid the first stage battle.

Pro Golf Tour - Zell am See – Kaprun Open 2017 presented by SalzburgerLand

German Alexander Herrmann secured himself the trophy of the Zell am See – Kaprun Open 2017 presented by SalzburgerLand.

His total score of 21 under par gave the 22 year old a six shot lead over fellow countryman Finn Fleer.

 





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