Mexico’s Abraham Ancer wins WGC event for 1st PGA Tour title

Sports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)Abraham Ancer of Mexico won the FedEx St. Jude Invitational on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title, beating Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns with a 6-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole of a playoff.

Ancer won the World Golf Championships event at TPC Southland after Burns’ 5 1/2-foot putt – on the same line as Ancer – lipped out.

Ancer, the 30-year-old former University of Oklahoma player who was born in McAllen, Texas, closed with a 2-under 68 to match Matsuyama and Burns at 16-under 264. Matsuyama shot a 63, and Burns had a 64.

Ancer became the fourth Mexican winner on the PGA Tour, following Victor Regalado, Cesar Sanudo and Carlos Ortiz, and the seventh player to win a WGC event for his first tour victory. He’s projected to jump to 10th in the world ranking.

Harris English, the 2013 champion at TPC Southwind, was a stroke back after a 73 after leading after each of the first three days.

On the first extra hole, Ancer, Burns and Matsuyama, coming off a bronze-medal playoff loss in the Tokyo Olympics, made decent runs at birdies. Matsuyama had the shortest attempt – from 20 feet – and it nearly went in the cup before lipping out.

Bryson DeChambeau, two strokes behind English after a third-round 63, had a 74 to tie for eighth at 12 under. He missed the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.

PGA TOUR

TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) – Erik van Rooyen won the Barracuda Championship for his first PGA Tour title, finishing with 50 points in the modified Stableford scoring system.

Van Rooyen, the 31-year-old former University of Minnesota player from South Africa, eagled the par-4 eighth and closed with a birdie on the par-4 18th for a five-point victory over Andrew Putnam at Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course.

Players receive eight points for an albatross, five for eagle, two for birdie and zero for par. A point is subtracted for a bogey, and three points are taken away for a double bogey or worse.

Van Rooyen had a 16-point final round, making the eagle, six birdies and a bogey.

Van Rooyen jumped from 139th to 78th in the FedEx Cup standings, with the top 125 after the Wyndham Championship next week earning spots in the playoff opener at Liberty National. He earned a spot in the PGA Championship next year but not the Masters because the event is being played opposite a World Golf Championship – the FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis, Tennessee.

Putnam won the 2018 event for his lone PGA Tour title.

UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION

HARRISON, N.Y. (AP) – Kentucky junior Jensen Castle won the U.S. Women’s Amateur, beating Arizona junior Hou Yu-chiang of Taiwan 2 and 1 in the 36-hole final at Westchester Country Club.

Castle, from West Columbia, South Carolina, won after opening with a 7-over 79 on Monday in the first round of stroke play and surviving a 12-for-2 playoff late Tuesday to get into the 64-player field for match play. She’s the third No. 63 seed to win a USGA title, following Clay Ogden in the 2005 U.S. Amateur Public Links and Steven Fox in the 2012 U.S. Amateur.

After Hou won the 30th and 31st with birdies to pull within one, Castle took the par-4 33rd with a par, lost the par-3 34th to Hou’s birdie and finished off the match with a birdie on the par-4 35th.

Ranked 248th in the world amateur ranking, Castle wrapped up an automatic spot on the U.S. Curtis Cup team this month in Wales. She also earned spots in the Women’s British Open at Carnoustie in two weeks, and the 2022 ANA Inspiration, U.S. Women’s Open, Evian Championship and Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

EUROPEAN TOUR

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) – Scotland’s Grant Forrest held off England’s James Morrison in the Hero Open for his first European Tour title.

Forrest birdied the last two holes at Fairmont St Andrews for a 6-under 66 and 24-under 264 total. Morrison was a stroke back after a 63.

The 28-year-old Forrest is the first home winner in Scotland on the European Tour since Paul Lawrie in the 2012 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

Spain’s Santiago Tarrio was third at 21 under after a 68.

KORN FERRY TOUR

FARMINGTON. Utah (AP) – Joshua Creel won the the Utah Championship for his first Korn Ferry Tour title.

Creel made a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a 7-under 64 and 24-under 260 total at Oakridge Country Club. He jumped from 64th to 32nd in the season standings with the top 25 after the regular-season finale next week in Omaha, Nebraska, earning PGA Tour cards.

Hayden Buckley (61), Taylor Montgomery (67) and Peter Uihlein (67) tied for second, two strokes back.

OTHER TOURS

Mexico’s Fernanda Lira won the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Battle Creek, Michigan, for her first Symetra Tour title. She birdied five of the last six holes for a 10-under 62 and a six-stroke victory. She finished at 19-under 197. … Denmark’s Marcus Helligkilde won the Vierumaki Finnish Challenge, leading wire-to-wire for his first European Challenge Tour title. He closed with a 71 for a 23-under 265 total. He shot a 61 in the first round. Sweden’s Jesper Svensson was two strokes back after a 68.

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