PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (AP) — Jon Rahm pulled back from a tie at four with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole, then held on with pars for a 2-under 69 and a win over hit Sunday in the Mexican Open.
Rahm won for the first time since the US Open last summer at Torrey Pines.
Tony Finau and Brandon Wu each closed with a 63, while Kurt Kitayama birdied the last hole from a back bunker for a 68. They tied for second.
Equipped with a lead of two shots before the final round, he never trailed. But it has never been easy.
Rahm had a one-shot lead after his only bogey of the round on the tough par-4 10th.
Well ahead of him, Wu made a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to join him at 16 under. Kitayama, playing in the final group with Rahm, swung back and forth from the right of the green on the par-5 12th to par. And then Finau went birdie-eagle-birdie to get into the mix and capped his 63 with a birdie to make it a tie at four.
Rahm never lost patience. His chip to the left of the green on the par-5 14th went 12 feet through the hole, but he hit his best putt of the round and did it for a birdie for a one-stroke lead. He went the rest of the way to his seventh PGA Tour title and 14th in the world.
Rahm finished at 17 under 267.
PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. (AP) — Marina Alex won the Palos Verdes Championship for her second LPGA Tour title, breaking a tie with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th and parrying the final two holes to one-shot victory over Jin Young Ko.
Three shots behind Hannah Green entering the round, Alex closed with a 5-under 66 to finish 10-under 274 at the hilly and windy Palos Verdes Golf Club.
Top-ranked Ko also shot a 66. She finished about an hour ahead of Alex at the freshman event that concluded the LPGA Tour’s two-week stay in the Los Angeles area and the swing of five tournaments on the west coast.
Alex, 31, also won the 2018 Portland Classic. She finished tied for 10th last week at the Whilshire Country Club at the Los Angeles Open.
Third-placed Lydia Ko (70) and Megan Khang (68) are tied for third at 8 under. Green shot his second straight 72 to find himself tied for fifth at 7 under.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) — Steven Alker came back from a two-hour rain delay playing a six-hole streak in a par 6-under back nine to pass Steve Stricker, close with a 6-under 66 and win the Insperity Invitational for his second victory this year on the PGA Tour Champions.
Alker had to make a pair of tough saves to close out the front nine at The Woodlands and stay one step ahead of Stricker, who was playing for the first time in six months.
Alker birdied three straight from No. 11 and then he effectively put the tournament aside by throwing an eagle putt on the par-5 15 to build a four-shot lead.
Stricker and Brandt Jobe each shot 70 and tied for second, four shots behind. Alker finished at 18-under 198.
Stricker was hospitalized late last year when his liver count plummeted and his white blood cell count rose. He lost 25 pounds and worried about his strength and endurance in his first competition since October 10.
Alker tops the Charles Schwab Cup standings with his $345,000 for his win. Not bad for a Kiwi who only nine months ago had no status on the 50-plus circuit.
GIRONA, Spain (AP) — Spaniard Adri Arnaus claimed his first European Tour title when he overcame a seven-under deficit with a 7-under 65 and won the Catalyunya championship in the playoffs with a par on the sixth extra hole.
Arnaus, who hails from Barcelona in northeastern Spain near Girona, caught overnight leader Oliver Bekker, who closed with a 72.
In the playoffs, Arnaus and Becker made par in five trips to the 18th hole, but when they went to the 17th, Bekker’s bogey gave Arnaus the title.
Arnaus, 27, had already finished second on the European tour five times. It was his third playoff in seven months. Bekker was also looking for his first tour victory.
It was the European tour’s first time at the PGA Catalunya since the 2014 Spanish Open. The venue hosted the European qualifiers from 2008 to 2016.
KORN FERRY TOUR
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Harrison Endycott of Australia closed at par 70 and captured his first Korn Ferry Tour title with a five-stroke win over Ben Taylor in the Huntsville Championship.
Endycott took control of the tournament with a 64 in the third round and was never seriously challenged on Sunday.
Taylor opened with two bogeys and had a double bogey on the No. 8. But he started the back nine with four straight birdies and closed a 70. Second place moved Taylor to No. 10 in the hunt for points for the 25 players who move on to the PGA Tour next season.
Endycott moves up to No. 12 with a win after a rocky start to the year in which he had only one top-30 finish.
Gabriella Then closed with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over Florida teenager Alexa Pano in the Garden City Charity Classic in Kansas. Then won the Epson Tour for the first time. … Yuki Inamori closed with 7 under 63 for a three-stroke victory over Jung-Gon Hwang in The Crowns. Inamori won the Japan Golf Tour for the third time and will enter the top 100 in the world, which will likely put him in the PGA Championship. Hwang shot 67 in his third start since returning from mandatory military service in South Korea. … Former U.S. Women’s Open champion A Lim Kim finished 2-under 70 for a three-stroke win over Ga Young Lee in the KLPGA Championship. … Former Oklahoma State star Maja Stark of Sweden was 2-under 70 to complete a five-stroke win over Johanna Gustavsson of Sweden at the NSW Women’s Open in Australia. It was Stark’s third title on the Ladies European Tour in the last eight months. … Tristen Strydom won his first Sunshine Tour event with a six-stroke victory in the season-ending Tour Championship, closing with a 6-under 66 for a six-stroke victory, the largest margin in history of the tournament. … José Toledo closed with a 6-under 66 for a six-stroke win over Raul Pereda at the Diners Club Peru Open, his first PGA Tour Latinoamerica title in five years. … Mao Saigo closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Teresa Lu at the Panasonic Open of the LPGA of Japan.
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Jon Rahm of Spain celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the Mexican Open at Vidanta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Sunday, May 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Jon Rahm of Spain holds his son Kepa as he celebrates winning the Mexican Open at Vidanta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Sunday, May 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Marina Alex tees off on the fourth tee during the final round of the Palos Verdes Championship LPGA golf tournament on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)