Brandt Snedeker wins windy Fiji In­ter­na­tional by 9 strokes

Malta Independent - - SPORTS -

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.

Clas­si­fieds

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

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