Brandt Snedeker wins windy Fiji International by 9 strokes
Brandt Snedeker ran away with the wind-swept Fiji International yesterday, 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 threestroke lead into the final round.
“It kind of worked out perfectly today because it was playing so tough, nobody could really make a run,” Snedeker said. “There were no low scores out there, so that made my job a lot easier. It’s been a pretty good two weeks, I was joking earlier I might add another tournament next week. It’s been an unbelievable run. To play the way I have has been really fun.”
Ranked 23rd in the world, the 35-year-old 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.
“To go out there and the play the way I did at the weekend, extend my lead, I’m very happy with how comfortable I felt in that situation,” Snedeker said. “I never really gave any back or did anything that would cause myself to lose the golf tournament. I’m just building all that positive stuff right now, so it’s a lot of fun.
He 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 three-time 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.
Ha Na Jang wins Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship
Ha Na Jang held off Shanshan Feng by a stroke in wind and rain yesterday 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 set up some key par saves with sharp play around the greens, hitting to inches on 14, to a foot on 15 after Feng holed out, and to 2 feet on 16 and 17.
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. Taiwan’s Candie Kung (69), South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace (71) and South Korea’s Hee Young Park (72) were another stroke back.
Jang 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.
The South Korean player earned $300,000 to jump from 12th to seventh in the money list with $1,199,719. She’s projected to go from 12th to eighth in the world ranking.
Feng had her third straight topfour finish. The Olympic bronze medalist was fourth in the Evian Championship and tied for fourth last week in China in the Asian Swing opener.
Top-ranked Lydia Ko shot a 70 to tie for 20th at 3 under. She won by nine strokes last year at Miramar. The tour will be in South Korea next week, then visit China, Malaysia and Japan.
Brandt Snedeker reacts after winning yesterday Photo: AP