62-year-old Jay Haas wins playoff in Newport Beach
Jay Haas birdied the first hole of a playoff with Bart Bryant on Sunday to become the second-oldest winner in PGA Tour Champions history. At 62 years, 10 months, 7 days, Haas trails only Mike Fetchick, the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational winner at 63 years to the day. After opening with bogey-free rounds of 64 and 63 to take a five-stroke lead, Haas had to rally to get into the playoff. He made par saves on the par-3 17th and par-5 18th for a 1-under 70 to match Bryant - who earlier bogeyed 18 to give Haas an opening - at 16-under 197. Also the 2007 winner at Newport Beach Country Club, Haas won his 18th title on the 50and-over tour and first since 2014. He won nine times on the PGA Tour and captained the United States’ winning Presidents Cup team last year in South Korea. The 53-yearold Bryant shot a 64, three-putting the 18th in regulation. He hit into the left greenside bunker in two, and hit something under the ball in the sand that sent that ball right and long.
Bryant also struggled on the hole in the playoff, hitting way left off the tee, then into a grandstand to the right of the green. Haas hit the fairway and drew a good lie in light rough, also right of the green. Bryant’s chip raced across the green and off, and Haas hit his to a foot for the winning birdie. Larry Mize (65) and Billy Andrade (66) tied for third at 14 under.
Brandt Snedeker ran away with the wind-swept Fiji International, closing with a 4-under 68 for a nine-stroke victory. Coming off the United States’ Ryder Cup victory in Minnesota, Snedeker had five birdies and bogey to finish at 16-under 272 at Vijay Singh-designed Natadola Bay. He opened with rounds of 69, 64 and 70 to take a three-stroke lead into the final round.
Ranked 23rd in the world, the 35-yearold Snedeker won his first international title in the event sanctioned by European and Australasian tours. He had the largest margin of victory this season on the European Tour, stopping Charl Schwartzel’s eight-shot win in the Tshwane Open.
Snedeker also won in February at Torrey Pines in California for his eighth PGA Tour title. New Zealand’s Michael Hendry was second at a 7 under after a 72. New Zealand’s Brad Shilton (69) was another stroke back along with Australians Andrew Evans (71), Matthew Giles (64) and Anthony Houston (75). Singh tied for 21st at 2 under after a 69. The 53-year-old Fijian is a threetime major champion. Boo Weekley tied for 33rd at 1 over after a 73, and fellow American Heath Slocum closed with a 74 to tie for 53rd at 4 over.
LPGA TAIWAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Ha Na Jang held off Shanshan Feng by a stroke in wind and rain in the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship for her third victory of the year.
Eight strokes ahead of Feng after a birdie on the sixth hole, the 24-year-old South Korean player bogeyed two of the next three holes and scrambled to par the final nine for a 1-under 71.
Feng finished with a 66. The Chinese star chipped in for birdie from 35 feet on the par-4 15th to pull within two strokes, and nearly holed a bunker shot for eagle on the par-5 18th. Jang then lagged her 15-foot birdie putt to inches, and briefly danced on the green after tapping in.
She kept the celebration short after drawing criticism in South Korea for her flamboyant victory celebrations - a “Samurai Lasso” routine in Florida in February and a “Beyonce Single Ladies” dance in Singapore in March. Also, before the Singapore event, Jang’s father dropped a hard-case suitcase that tumbled down an airport escalator and injured rival player In Gee Chun.
Jang finished at 17-under 271. She shot a 62 on Saturday to take a six-stroke lead over Feng into the final round. The 62 was the lowest score in her LPGA Tour career and matched the best round in the three years at Miramar. She’s projected to jump from 12th to eighth in the world ranking.
Canada’s Brooke Henderson birdied the last two holes for a 70 to tie for third with South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim (69) at 10 under.
ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP
England’s Tyrrell Hatton won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for his first European Tour title, shooting a 6-under 66 at St. Andrews for a four-stroke victory.
A day after matching the Old Course record with a 62, Hatton had three straight birdies at Nos. 3-5 and rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 9 to open a six-shot advantage. He added birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 15, and dropped his only stroke of the day on the par-4 17th after finding the Road Hole bunker.
He finished at 23-under 265, also shooting a 67 on Thursday at Carnoustie and 70 on Friday at Kingsbarns. The 24-year-old Englishman broke though for his first victory after finishing second in the Scottish Open, fifth at the British Open and 10th in the PGA Championship.
South Africa’s Richard Sterne and England’s Ross Fisher (67) tied for second.
ASIA-PACIFIC AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Curtis Luck overcame a seven-stroke deficit to win the Asia-Pacific Amateur and earn a Masters invitation that the Australian didn’t need.
Already in the Masters with his US Amateur victory, the 20-year-old Luck made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke victory over countryman Brett Coletta.
Luck finished at 12-under 276 at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club. He earned a spot in the British Amateur, after securing positions in the Masters, US Open and British Open with his US Amateur victory. Coletta, the third-round leader, had a chance to force a playoff on 18, but missed a 14-foot birdie try. He had two double bogeys in a 75. New Zealand’s Luke Toomey was third at 9 under after a 66.
Australia’s Cameron Davis, a stroke ahead of Luck and Coletta with four holes left, closed bogey-bogey-birdie-triple bogey for a 77 that left him fourth at 7 under. Last week in Mexico, Davis teamed with Luck to lead Australia to victory in the World Amateur Team Championship and topped the individual standings. — AP
NEWPORT BEACH: Jay Haas poses with the winner’s trophy after winning the Toshiba Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club on Sunday in Newport Beach, California. — AFP