62-year-old Jay Haas wins play­off in New­port Beach

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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

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