Hovland repeats in Mexico, Alker wins on PGA Tour Champions

Sports

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP)Viktor Hovland won again on the PGA Tour, this time without a clutch finish. The Norwegian star was too dominant to give anyone else a chance Sunday in the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba.

Hovland seized control with three birdies on the front nine, and never let Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas or anyone else get closer than three shots the rest of the way.

He closed with a 4-under 67 for a four-shot win over Carlos Ortiz of Mexico, making him the first repeat winner since Mayakoba began in 2007.

Hovland won last year with a birdie putt on the final hole for a one-shot victory. He also made birdie on his last hole when he won the Puerto Rico Open in the spring of 2020.

Hovland finished at 23-under 261 and moved to No. 10 in the world ranking.

Ortiz made a 30-foot par putt after a plugged lie in the bunker on the 18th for a 66 to finish alone in second, a difference of $144,000 if he had two-putted for bogey and tied with Thomas, who also saved for on 18 for a 69.

The strongest challenge came from Scheffler, who twice got within three shots until an errant drive on No. 16 led to double bogey. He shot 66 and finished fourth.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) – Steven Alker capped off an amazing three months by winning for the first time on the PGA Tour Champions, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory in the TimberTech Championship.

Alker turned 50 in late July and had to qualify for a chance to even play. He tied for seventh in his first event to earn a spot in the next tournament. Each week he kept finishing in the top 10 to advance. And now he’s going to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week.

Alker’s victory easily moved him into the top 36 of players in the Schwab Cup to advance to the season finale in Phoenix.

Alker holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to take the lead, and then finished with a birdie to win by two over Jim Furyk and Miguel Angel Jimenez. Alker won $305,000, pushing his total to $896,207 in just nine tournaments since he qualified for the Boeing Classic outside Seattle in his Champions debut.

That’s more than the Kiwi made in his entire career on the PGA Tour, which featured only three full seasons as he toiled on the Australasian and European tours and spent a fair bit of his time in America on what now is the Korn Ferry Tour.

EUROPEAN TOUR

VILAMOURA, Portugal (AP) – Thomas Pieters of Belgium closed with a 3-under 68 to win the Portugal Masters for his first European Tour victory since 2019.

Pieters, who played in 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, won for the fifth time on the European Tour, and his firs since the Czech Masters two years ago.

He finished at 19-under 265 at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, two shots ahead of Matthieu Pavon of France and Denmark’s Nicola Hojgaard and Lucas Bjerregaard.

Pavon, who shared the lead entering the final round, took triple bogey on the par-5 12 by twice hitting into the water. He closed with a 70. Bjerregaard had five birdies on his last nine holes to close with 66, while Hojgaard made his only bogey of the day on the 18th to finish at 64 .

OTHER TOURS

Lydia Ko closed with a 7-under 65 for a five-shot victory over Atthaya Thitikul in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International on the Ladies European Tour. … Yosuke Asaji won his third career Japan Golf Tour title by closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory over Tomohiro Ishizaka and Mikumu Horikawa in the Mynavi ABC Championship. … Marcus Helligkilde of Denmark had a 1-over 72 and won the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Finale by one shot, allowing him to finish atop the Road to Mallorca ranking. It was his third Challenge Tour victory of the year. … Dean Burmester closed with a 7-under 65 for a two-shot victory in the PGA Championship in South Africa. It was his second win this year on the Sunshine Tour. … Ayaka Furue shot 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory in the Toto Japan Classic on the Japan LPGA. The LPGA Tour chose not to add the tournament to its schedule this year because of travel restrictions from the pandemic. Olympic silver medalist Mone Inami shot 70 to finish second. … Ji-Young Park closed with a 4-under 68 for a one-shot victory in the S-Oil Championship on the Korean LPGA. … James Kingston won the Senior Italian Open with a 4-under 68 to finish one shot ahead of Joakim Haeggman on Europe’s Legends Tour.

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