Matsuyama cruises to win in Shanghai
SHANGHAI » Hideki Matsuyama of Japan never gave anyone a chance Sunday, closing with a 6-under 66 to win the HSBC Champions and become the first Asian winner in the 18 years of the World Golf Championships.
It was only fitting that Matsuyama won the WGC billed as “Asia’s major.”
The 24-year-old Matsuyama hit his second shot into the water on the par-5 18th hole and still finished with a par, holing an 18foot putt. That gave him a seven-shot victory over British Open champion Henrik Stenson (65) and Daniel Berger (69).
It was the largest margin of victory at the HSBC Champions, and the largest in a WGC since Tiger Woods won by seven in the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational.
Starting the final round with a three-shot lead, Matsuyama hit his approach into 4 feet for birdie and was on his way. His only difficult moment came at the par-3 fourth hole when he went over the green and his chip came out soft, stopping some 15 feet short of the cup. Berger had a 10foot birdie attempt, setting up the potential for a twoshot swing that would have cut the lead to two shots.
Matsuyama holed the putt, then hit an approach up the hill to 4 feet on the next hole for birdie. He poured it on along the back nine with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 13th, a two-putt birdie on the par-5 14th hole and then another strong approach out of the rough to the tough 15th that settled 3 feet away.
He played his final 45 holes at Sheshan International without a bogey.
SIME DARBY LPGA MALAYSIA
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA » Shanshan Feng won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia to cap a string of high finishes that started with an Olympic bronze medal.
The 27-year-old Chinese star beat Suzann Pettersen by three strokes at TPC Kuala Lumpur, shooting a 4-under 67 after finishing off a third-round 64 in the morning.
POWERSHARES QQQ CHAMPIONSHIP
THOUSAND OAKS » Tom Pernice Jr. won the first playoff event in PGA Tour Champions history, beating Colin Montgomerie by a stroke at Sherwood in the PowerShares QQQ Championship.
The 57-year-old Tom Pernice Jr. closed with a 2-under 70, breaking a tie for the lead with Montgomerie with an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-4 14th and adding a 15-footer on the par-3 15th.
SANDERSON FARMS CHAMPIONSHIP
JACKSON, MISS. » Cody Gribble won the Sanderson Farms Championship for his first PGA Tour title, closing with a 7-under 65 for a four-stroke victory.
The 26-year-old rookie started the day a stroke behind playing partners Chris Kirk and Luke List.
WALGREENS CHARITY CHAMPIONSHIP
DELRAY BEACH, FLA. » Juli Inkster won The Legends Tour’s season-ending Walgreens Charity Championship on Sunday, closing with a 4-under 64 for a four-stroke victory over Pat Hurst.
The 56-year-old Inkster finished at 5-under 139 at Seagate Country Club.