Steele rallies to win PGA Tour season opener at Safeway Open
NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Brendan Steele earned redemption at Silverado and won the Safeway Open for his first PGA Tour victory in more than five years.
Steele rallied from four shots behind in the rain Sunday and finished with three straight birdies for a 7-under 65, giving him a one-shot victory over a faltering Patton Kizzire.
A year ago at Silverado, Steele lost the 54-hole lead by shooting 40 on the back nine.
He two-putted from long range on the par-5 16th, holed an 18-foot birdie on the 17th and then made a 7-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
Kizzire struggled to find fairways on the back nine. Needing birdie on the par-5 18th to force a playoff, he missed the green with a 9-iron and failed to chip in for birdie.
LPGA: INCHEON, South Korea — Carlota Ciganda beat Alison Lee with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff Sunday in the rainy LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship after each player lost big leads.
The 26-year-old Spaniard won her first LPGA Tour title with a 6-foot putt after Lee’s birdie chip from the rough off the back edge of the green missed a half-inch to the right.
Ciganda overcame a five-stroke deficit to Lee, then blew a five-stroke advantage on the final five holes — getting into the playoff when Lee bogeyed the par-5 18th after hitting into the water.
Ciganda played the final five holes in 4 over — making a double bogey on 14 and bogeys on 16 and 18 — for a 2-over 70 at Sky 72. Three strokes ahead of U.S. Women’s Open champion Brittany Lang entering the day, Lee had a 75 to match Ciganda at 10-under 278 on the Ocean Course.
Needing a par on 18 for her first victory, Lee hit a wedge that smacked into the front bank and bounced into the water. The 21-year-old was able to drop a few feet off the right edge of the green, chipped past and made a 5-footer to force the playoff.
SAS CHAMPIONSHIP: CARY, N.C. — Doug Garwood ran away with the SAS Championship for his first PGA Tour Champions title, closing with an 8-under 64 for a four-stroke victory.
The 53-year-old Garwood won in his 44th start on the 50-and-over tour. He finished at 16-under 200 in the regular-season finale at Prestonwood Country Club.
Garwood birdied the last three holes on the front nine for a 6-under 30, made it four in a row on the par-4 10th, added birdies on the par-5 13th and 16th and closed with a bogey.
Bernhard Langer, two strokes ahead of Garwood and Larry Mize entering the day, had a 70 to finish second. Mize shot a 69 to tie for third with Tom Byrum (65) and Jeff Sluman (68) at 11 under.
The top 72 players on the money list earned spots in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener, the PowerShares QQQ Championship at Sherwood in California on Oct. 28-30.
Corey Pavin finished 72nd with $183,192, but is sidelined by a right elbow injury and won’t play at Sherwood. Michael Bradley was 73rd, $2,388 behind Pavin. Bradley closed with a 69 to tie for 13th at 6 under. A spot also was available for the top finisher in the top 10 in the tournament who ended up outside the top 72 for the season, but all the top-10 finishers were in the top 72.
WATFORD, England (AP) — Sweden’s Alex Noren held on to win the British Masters for his third European Tour victory in his last eight tournaments.
Noren shot a 2-under 69 at The Grove to finish at 18-under 266. He also won the Scottish Open and European Masters in Switzerland.
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger was second after a 67.
England’s Lee Westwood (67) was 15 under, and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (68) was 13 under along with France’s Alexander Levy (67), Sweden’s Peter Hanson (70) and Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood (70) and Richard Bland (71).
MACAU (AP) — Thailand’s Davit Tangkamolprasert won the Macau Open in a playoff after India’s Anirban Lahiri birdied the final seven holes to force extra holes.
The 27-year-old Pavit birdied the par-5 18th in regulation for a 7-under 64 to match Lahiri (65) at 16-under 268 in the Asian Tour event at Macau Golf and Country Club.
On the 18th on the first playoff hole, Pavit made another birdie for his first tour title after Lahiri found the water hazard with his second shot and finished with a bogey.
England’s Ian Poulter, tied for the first-round lead at 64 in is return from a four-month break, shot a 73 to tie for 28th at 3 under. He was sidelined by an arthritic joint in his right foot.
SYMETRA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
LONGWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen won the season-ending Symetra Tour Championship in a playoff and 10 players earned LPGA Tour cards.
Larsen beat Ally McDonald with a 14-foot birdie putt on the par-3 18th on the first extra hole at Alaqua Country Club. Both players shot 4-under 67 to finish at 18-under 266.
The event was moved from LPGA International in Daytona Beach to Alaqua on Saturday because of Hurricane Matthew. The tour was scheduled to play the IOA Golf Classic last week at Alaqua, but that event was canceled because of the hurricane.
Larsen earned $30,000 to jump from 69th to 20th on the money list with a four-event total of $41,677, enough to get a spot in the final stage of LPGA Tour Q-school.
McDonald made $19,234 to finish second on the money list with $110,359. Belgium’s Laura Gonzalez Escallon was third at 13 under after a 67. She was fifth on the money list with $77,997.
Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, the runaway money champion with a tour-record $167,064, had a 64 to finish fourth at 7 under. She led the tour with three victories.