A full week of professional golf saw an Indian champion return to the winner’s circle, a marathon LPGA Tour playoff, and a first-time winner in Mexico on the Web.com Tour. As for the PGA Tour, its unique, two-man Zurich Classic endured a weather delay on Sunday and saw a magical finish that forced the event to a Monday finish.
Start the beaters; it’s Tour Mash time.
PGA Tour: Inaugural two-man event still without a champion
A playoff awaits at the @Zurich_Classic.
The dramatic way we got there is unbelievable.#QuickHits pic.twitter.com/9TzRBr4iWV
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 1, 2017
Cameron Smith stuffed a pitch shot close on No. 18 for a sure birdie and what looked like victory for him and teammate Jonas Blixt. Their four-shot lead through 54 holes had dwindled, but one more birdie should have locked up a victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Kevin Kisner had other ideas.
Faced with an eagle pitch of his own in the gloaming, Kisner left nothing back and his bump-and-run, destined to sail past the hole, slammed into the flagstick and dropped to send him and partner Scott Brown into extra holes. Unable to begin the playoff, both teams returned to the TPC Louisiana on Monday to settle matters.
European Tour: Levy claims victory for France in China
60 seconds of @alexlevygolf ripping it ????
(Turn the volume up for this one ????) pic.twitter.com/np9Rm93Ipq
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) April 30, 2017
Alexander Levy won his first European Tour event at the 2014 Volvo China Open. Three years and two more victories later, the hard-swinging Frenchman made China the site of his fourth European Tour victory. The win came at the expense of a young challenger (South Africa’s Dylan Fritelli) and a seasoned veteran (Spain’s Pablo Larrazábal).
Fritelli lead by one over Larrazábal after 54 holes thanks to a remarkable run of 63-64 in the tournament’s middle rounds. The University of Texas graduate was unable to close in similar fashion, signing for 74 on Sunday and a 17-under-par total. Larrazábal was unable to make noise in Round 4, beginning with bogeys at his first two holes, ultimately posting 72 for 16-under and third place alone.
It was Levy and his six-birdie 67 that chased Fritelli down, forcing a playoff that would last one hole. Both golfers had runs at birdie, but Fritelli missed first. Levy putted from 15 feet at the last and his stroke did not err. The victory moved him into 11th position in the year-long Race To Dubai.
LPGA Tour: Nomura outlast Kerr in 24 holes
Haru Nomura pulls out the W after duking it out with Cristie Kerr for 6 playoff holes! Watch highlights from her round: pic.twitter.com/hqbRWFuhkD
— LPGA (@LPGA) May 1, 2017
High winds made an endurance event out of the final round of the Volunteers of America Shootout at Las Colinas Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. One score under 70 was recorded all day, and a majority of golfers signed cards in the mid-70s or higher. In the end, 18 holes weren’t enough for Haru Nomura and Christie Kerr. The duo would play the 18th hole six extra times before a birdie decided the champion.
Kerr, fresh off a victory in Hawaii this month, closed with a 3-over 74 on Sunday, not normally the stuff of champions. On this day, it was enough to catch third-round leader Haru Nomura of Japan, who battled to 76 on the day and a 72-hole score of 3-under. In third place, two back, was Jessica Korda. She shot 73 on Sunday.
Nomura and Kerr each parred the 18th hole five consecutive times in the playoff. On the sixth go around, Nomura steeled herself and calmly made birdie to seal her third LPGA Tour victory.
Web.com Tour: Atkins moves up 80 spots with win
Converting your first 54-hole lead into a win is impressive.
Doing it on the strength of a bogey-free Sunday? Even more so. pic.twitter.com/CMfIZOMXqB
— Web.com Tour (@WebDotComTour) May 1, 2017
Matt Atkins finished in 95th spot on the Web.com Tour in 2016. On Sunday in Mexico, the South Carolina-Aiken alumnus jump-started his run to the PGA Tour with a 4-under 68 and a 3-stroke victory at the El Bosque Mexico championship.
Atkins began Round 4 with the lead with a host of golfers in pursuit. Colombia’s Sebastian Muñoz was the closest and he remained there all day, finishing in second place alone at 14-under. Ted Potter, Jr. made the biggest move of the day, signing for 66 to jump up seven spots into a three-way tie for third with Roger Sloan and Austin Cook.
Atkins played with the cool of a veteran winner on Sunday. He matched two birdies and seven pars on each nine, forcing the field to chase him down. The Pennsylvania native moved inside the top-10 in the year-long competition for twenty-five 2018 PGA Tour cards.
Related: See what clubs Atkins used to win.
Asian Tour: Kapur claims 2nd career title
Relive @ShivKapur62's victory at the #YeangderHeritage #whereitsAT
Video highlights: https://t.co/j5ubHqT74p pic.twitter.com/6cPQgN4h58
— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) April 30, 2017
Everyone at the Yiangder Heritage was chasing Yikeung Chang after three rounds. Chang stood 10-under and had a slender lead. Eyes were on Gavin Green to overtake Chang, but it was Shiv Kapur who would fire the round of the week and surge past the field to victory.
Chang and Green acquitted themselves well on Sunday with respective scores of 68 and 67. Both tied at 14-under and might have played off for the title under normal circumstances. Kapur inserted himself into the equation on the outward nine with 33, but he blew his challengers away with a spotless, inward half of 5-under 31.
Kapur won his first Asian Tour title in 2005 at the Volvo Masters of Asia. He spent the next 10 years on a variety of tours, including the European and Asian Challenge circuits. His eight-birdie performance on Sunday, highlighted by a meager 24 putts, brought him inside the top-15 on the Order of Merit.