Casey becomes 1st repeat winner at Innisbrook
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Paul Casey became the first back-to-back winner of the Valspar Championship on Sunday by closing with a 1-over 72 for a one-shot victory over Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen.
Casey thought his biggest challenge would be Dustin Johnson, who was one shot behind. Instead, the world’s No. 1 player failed to make a single birdie for the first time in 31 tournaments worldwide.
The real challenge was Innisbrook, so tough that no one shot better than 68 in the final round.
Kokrak (71) and Oosthuizen (69) each had a share of the lead on the back nine. Kokrak missed an 8-foot par putt on the final hole. Casey was in a fairway bunker on No. 18 when he hit to just over 20 feet and two-putted for the win.
It was the first time since this event joined the PGA Tour schedule in 2000 that the winner was over par in the final round. The course was so dry and fast that no one shot better than 68, and the average score of 72.143 was the second-toughest final round his year behind rainy, windy Riviera.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Scott Hend closed with a 5-under 67 and then made a 3-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the Maybank Championship for his first victory in three years.
Nacho Elvira, who had a three-shot lead, came to the par-5 18th at Suajana Golf and Country Club needing a birdie to force a playoff. He heard a loud clap of thunder on his short wedge and chunked the shot some 30 feet short of the hole. Then, he had to wait 1 hour, 40 minutes during a storm delay before attempting the birdie putt. He holed it for a 70, setting up the playoff.
Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand shot 69 and finished third. Ernie Els closed with a 71 and tied for seventh, five shots out of the playoff.
Hend won for the third time on the European, and the co-sanctioned event gave him his 10th career Asian Tour victory.
PHOENIX (AP) — Jin Young Ko rallied to win the Founders Cup for her third LPGA Tour victory, closing with a 7-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over four players.
The 23-year-old South Korean player birdied Nos. 14-16 and parred the final two to finish at 22-under 266 at Desert Ridge. She won when third-round leader Yu Liu missed a 15-foot par putt on the par-4 18th.
Liu shot a 70 to tie for second with playing partner Carlota Ciganda and sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda. Ciganda closed with a 69, Jessica Korda eagled the two back-nine par 5s in a 64, and Nelly Korda shot 66.
Ko rebounded from a second-round 72 with a 64 on Saturday to pull within four strokes of Liu. She has three top-three finishes in four events this year.
BROUSSARD, La. (AP) — Vince Covello hit wedge into 5 feet for birdie on the 18th hole for a 3-under 68 to force a playoff, and made birdie on the 18th on the third extra hole to beat Justin Lower and win the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
Covello won for the first time in his fourth full season on the feeder circuit of the PGA Tour. He moves to No. 4 on the money list.
Lower, who had a two-shot lead going into the final round, missed about a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th in regulation for the victory. He closed with a 70.
Covello and Lower finished at 19-under 265.
Fabian Gomez of Argentina played early and shot a 62, finishing one shot behind along with Steve Marino (65) and Zhang Xinjun (68). Zhang was tied for the lead until he made bogey on the 17th hole at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club.
Jean-Paul Strydom rallied from a five-shot deficit by closing with a 6-under 66 for a one-shot victory in the Tour Championship at Serengeti Estates. It was his first victory on the Sunshine Tour. … Momoko Ueda had a third straight 2-under 69, giving her a two-shot victory in the T-Point Eneos Golf Tournament on the Japan LPGA.