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Moore wins Valspar; Els wins Champs to deny Langer record

By AP | Mar 20, 2023

Taylor Moore holds the trophy after winning the Valspar Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 19, 2023, at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

By The Associated Press undefined

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Taylor Moore delivered the clutch shots to move into contention, closed with a 4-under 67 and won the Valspar Championship on Sunday when he avoided the mistakes that cost Jordan Spieth and Adam Schenk.

In only his second year on the PGA Tour, the 29-year-old who grew up outside Oklahoma City is now headed to the Masters next month.

Spieth was tied for the lead when he sent his tee shot into the water on the 16th and managed to stay in the game by getting up-and-down from 163 yards to salvage bogey. On the par-3 17th, which yielded only two birdies all day, Spieth hit 4-iron to 6 feet — only to miss the birdie putt.

The real heartbreak belonged to Schenk, whose wife flew down to Florida for the final round a month before she is due with their first child. Schenk holed a 70-foot birdie putt on the 12th hole. He made tough par saves on the 16th and 17th holes to stay tied.

On the 18th, however, he pulled his tee shot to the left. It was roughly the same line as Moore had hit his tee shot earlier, only Schenk’s ball rolled through the gallery and stopped next to a pine tree.

His only shot was hitting an inverted gap wedge left-handed, and it was a dandy, shooting across the fairway into the rough. His third shot came up just short of a ridge and rolled onto the fringe 40 feet away. The par putt to force a playoff hit the hole, but had too much pace and hopped out.

Schenk, playing for the 10th consecutive week so he can take time off when his son is born, closed with a 70 and finished one shot behind. Spieth three-putted for bogey on the 18th and tied for third with Tommy Fleetwood (70).


MARANA, Ariz. (AP) — Danny Lee birdied his final two holes for a 2-under 69 and then won LIV Golf Tucson on the second hole of a four-man playoff on Sunday by making a 25-foot birdie putt from off the 18th green for his first win in nearly eight years.

It was the second playoff in LIV Golf since the Saudi-funded series began last year. Dustin Johnson won the playoff outside Boston last year.

Lee finished at 9-under 275 and got into the playoff with Carlos Ortiz (65), Brendan Steele (70) and Louis Oosthuizen (70). Oosthuizen bogeyed the par-5 17th to fall one behind, only to birdie the 18th to join the playoff.

Ortiz was eliminated after the first extra hole when he went long off the 18th green, chipped to 6 feet and missed the par putt.

Going back to the 18th hole, Lee’s approach from the fairway missed the green to the right, leaving him a tough spot with the pin all the way to the right side of the green.

Oosthuizen and Steele both missed long birdie putts. Lee chose to use putter, even though he was some 10 feet off the green. He gave it a rap and it was going fast when it rattled against the pin and disappeared for the winner.

Ortiz led the Fireballs to the team victory, winning handily over the 4Aces with Lee’s Ironheads team coming in third.


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Ernie Els rallied from a five-shot deficit and closed with a 6-under 65 to win the Hoag Classic and deny Bernhard Langer a chance at setting the career victory mark on the PGA Tour Champions.

Langer has 45 career wins on the over-50 tour, tied for the most with Hale Irwin. The 65-year-old German began the final round with a one-shot lead and picked up an early birdie. He was still tied for the lead when he made two bogeys on the back nine, and failed to make birdie on the par 5s.

Langer finished with a 2-over 73 and tied for seventh, three shots behind. He is in the field next week in Rancho Mirage, California, where he gets another shot at the record.

Els won for the first time since October 2020, and the Hall of Famer never had a win quite like this. He had been practicing with the “saw” putting grip at home in Florida last week, but wasn’t sure about whether to try it in a tournament. He changed in the middle of the tournament, and then after missing a few, went back to a cross-handed grip. Either way, he was making enough putts to become a winner again.

His biggest challenge after he finished came from Steve Stricker and Doug Barron. Stricker, who leads the Charles Schwab Cup standings, made birdies on the 14th and 15th, but he missed chances coming in and his birdie on the 18th for a 67 left him one behind.

Barron also finished one back after finishing with six straight pars for a 70.


ST. FRANCIS BAY, South Africa (AP) — Matthew Baldwin claimed his maiden title on the European tour Sunday by closing with a 4-under 68 for a seven-shot victory at the SDC Championship in South Africa.

Baldwin finished at 18-under 270. His first victory came 11 years after he first earned a European tour card. The Englishman had to put his career on hold in 2015 because of illness and lost his card the following year. His comeback to the tour was then delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adri Arnaus of Spain had a 67 to finish alone in second at the tournament co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour.

Baldwin was tied for the lead overnight with Norway’s Kristian Krogh Johannessen, although both still had five holes to play in their third rounds because of delays caused by high wind.

While Baldwin finished off his third round with three more birdies, Johannessen dropped a shot and couldn’t make that up in the final round, where his four birdies were canceled out by four bogeys to finish with a 72 and a tie for third.



Gabriela Ruffels of Australia closed with a 4-under 68 for a two-shot victory over Kathleen Scavo in the Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic on the Epson Tour. … Pauline Roussin of France pulled away from Danielle Kang with an 8-under 64 for a four-shot victory in the Aramco Team Series-Singapore on the Ladies European Tour. Kang had a 68, while Lydia Ko shot a 66 to finish alone in third. … Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines made up a six-shot deficit by closing with a 7-under 65 for a one-shot victory over Rashid Khan in The DGC Open on the Asian Tour. … David Micheluzzi rallied from five shots behind with a 6-under 65 to win the Play Today NSW Open by two shots over Kade McBride. With his third victory, Micheluzzi captured the Order of Merit on the PGA Tour of Australasia and earned a spot in the British Open this summer at Royal Liverpool. … Jake Mccrory closed with a 2-under 70 and made birdie on the first playoff hole against Jose Montenegro to win the Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational in Argentina on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. … Serena Aoki closed with an 8-under 64 for a four-shot victory over former U.S. Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso in the T-Point Eneos Golf Tournament on the Japan LPGA.


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