RORY McIlroy realised a long held dream of winning his national open, Sergio Garcia won the Byron Nelson for the second time, Bernhard Langer snaffled his sixth senior major and Victoria’s Su Oh was runner up on the LPGA.
An emotional Rory McIlroy had his first professional win on Irish soil after a stunning closing three holes at the K Club to win the 2016 Irish Open.
The Northern Irishman had missed the cut in his precious three attempts at this event and had spoken coming into the week of what a first professional win on Irish soil would mean to him.
The four-time Major Championship winner came into the final round with a three-shot lead but was overtaken by Scotland’s Russell Knox with three holes to play before two stunning approach shots gave him an birdie-par-eagle finish and a 12 under total for his three shot win.
“I was trying to stay as relaxed as possible,” he said. “Even when Russell birded 14 and 15, which are two of the toughest holes on the course, I knew that my length would be an advantage over the last three holes.
“I told myself, ‘I’m still in this, I still have chances’. I didn’t quite think I’d end up with my three (on the 18th) but I thought I still had a chance so I stayed as patient as I possibly could. But when there’s 30,000 people roaring you on, that’s quite hard. It was absolutely incredible.
Garcia wins 9th PGA TOUR title
Sergio Garcia has had 15 runner-up finishes on the US PGA TOUR and it looked like it might happen again at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship at the TPC Four Seasons until he beat Brooks Koepka in a playoff for his 9th TOUR win.
It was the 36 year old Spaniard’s first TOUR win since 2012 and the second time he’s won this event (2004), a championsip that always seems to bring out his best.
“Sometimes the win doesn’t come and you feel a little frustrated when you finish,” Garcia said, “but putting yourself in a winning situation over and over is very important. … We all know how much effort it is to win out here and in the past 15, 20 years, the level has become so much greater. It’s not easy at all.”
Garcia is now equal with his hero Seve Ballesteros for most TOUR wins by a Spanish-born golfer.
Whilst things were going good for McIlroy across the Atlantic, the pain continued for Jordan Spieth who posted a final round 4-over 74, the third worst score of the day.
Langer cracks a ton
Scoring 100 isn’t usually a good thing in golf but when that’s the number of worldwide pro tournaments you have won, it takes on a different complexion.
Unfortunately for Champions Tour rookies like John Daly and Craig Parry, Bernhard Langer reached that milestone Sunday when he won the year’s first senior major, the Regions Tradition at the Greystone Golf & Country Club in Alabama.
The soon to be 59 year old won what was his sixth senior major and 27th overall on the Champions Tour. Nearly half those wins (13) have come since he turned 54, showing he has no plans of slowing down.
“We’re out here and the clock is ticking. We’re trying to make the best of it.” Langer said. “I love the game of golf, I love to compete. I’m very blessed with good health, a reasonable technique and a solid mind. I have a wonderful family that’s behind me, and a lot of people who surround me and give me strength.”
Langer’s six senior majors ties him with Gary Player and Tom Watson for third-most all-time, behind Jack Nicklaus with eight and Hale Irwin with seven.
Peter Senior finished T44 and Craig Parry T52.
Sue Oh has best LPGA finish
Victorian Su Oh got one on long time rival Minjee Lee, who was defending champion at the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia with her runner-up finish in what is her rookie season.
The 19 year old only had only limited tour status but shot a final round 6-under 65 to finish on 12-under, just one behind Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn (67), who went back to back after recording her first win last week.
Oh will now have full tour status through 2017.
Defending champion Lee (71) opened with a promising 66 but closed on 8-under tied for 10th. Karrie Webb (70) finished on 4-under at T26.