Casey ends win drought at Valspar after Woods’ late charge

Paul Casey tees off on the 17th hole during the final round of the Valspar Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 11, 2018, in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) Paul Casey closed with a 6-under 65 and won the Valspar Championship on Sunday after watching Tiger Woods come up one putt short of a playoff.

A highly charged PGA Tour event ended with one player ending a long victory drought, just not the one most fans came to see.

Casey ran off three straight birdies early on the back nine to take the lead, and he closed with tough pars to post at 10-under 274. No one caught him, giving Casey his first PGA Tour victory since the 2009 Houston Open.

Patrick Reed squandered a chance to force a playoff when a long birdie putt rolled 45 feet back to his feet and he three-putted for bogey.

Woods charged up the record crowd with a birdie putt from just inside 45 feet on the 17th hole to get within one shot. He laid well back off the 18th tee and hit his approach from 185 yards to just inside 40 feet. The birdie chance to force a playoff was 2 feet short.

Woods closed with a 1-under 70 and tied for second, his highest finish in an official tournament since he tied for second at The Barclays in 2013.


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Vijay Singh got up-and-down for birdie with a putter from off the green on the final hole for a one-shot victory in the Toshiba Classic.

The 55-year-old Hall of Famer edged Tommy Tolles, Tom Pernice Jr. and Scott McCarron to win for the first time as an individual on the PGA Tour Champions. He teamed with Carlos Franco to win last year’s Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

Singh has played a limited schedule on the 50-and-over tour while continuing to compete on the PGA Tour, where he has 34 career victories.

The Fijian closed with a 5-under 66 for a three-day total of 11-under 202 at Newport Beach Country Club.

He got his stiffest challenge from Tolles, who was bogey-free before he three-putted the tough par-3 17th. Singh also bogeyed 17 to fall even with Tolles, whose chip from short of the green on the par-5 18th rolled 6 feet past. Tolles missed the birdie putt, opening the door for Singh playing behind him.


NEW DELHI (AP) – Matt Wallace birdied the first playoff hole against fellow Englishman Andrew ”Beef” Johnston to win the Hero Indian Open on Sunday.

Wallace, who closed with a 3-under 68, hit his second shot into 20 feet on the par-5 18th in the playoff at DLF Golf and Country Club. Johnston laid up and his birdie attempt was longer than what Wallace had for eagle.

Johnston shot 66. They finished at 11-under 277.

Shubhankar Sharma, who began the final round tied with Wallace, hit out-of-bounds on the 15th hole and made double bogey to end his hopes of winning for the third time this year on the European Tour. The 21-year-old from India shot a 75 to tie for seventh, seven shots behind. Sharma still did enough to qualify for the Dell Technologies Match Play in two weeks in Texas, reserved for the top 64 available from the world ranking.

He also received an invitation to the Masters at the start of the week.


LEON, Mexico (AP) – Martin Trainer made a triumphant return to Mexico, closing with a 3-under 69 for a two-shot victory at the El Bosque Mexico Championship.

Playing on a sponsor’s exemption, the 26-year-old American was making his first Tour start of the year. Trainer spent three seasons on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica and won the Mazatlan Open in Mexico in 2016.

The former Southern Cal player struggled on the Tour last year, making one cut in seven starts.

John Chin was two shots back, and Chase Wright and Sebastian Munoz tied for third, another shot behind.


Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand defeated Clark Dennis and Peter Fowler in a four-hole playoff to win the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters in the first event on the European Senior Tour. … Ashleigh Buhai won the Investec South African Women’s Open on the Ladies European Tour. Buhai shot 67 for a two-shot victory at Westlake Golf Club in Cape Town, South Africa. … Ha Na Jang closed with a 6-under 66 and defeated Ha Min Song in a playoff to win the Korea Investment & Securities Championship in Vietnam on the Korea LPGA Tour. … Sun-ju Ahn shot 4-under 68 and won on the first playoff hole against Ai Suzuki (65) in the Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup on the Japan LPGA.