SENDEN RETURNS TO MASTERS FOLLOWING WIN AT VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP
PGA Tour – Valspar Championship
John Senden earned a return to the Masters, banked more than $1.13 million and buried some troublesome demons with a drought-breaking victory in the US PGA Tour event at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida on Monday (AEDT).
The 42-year-old from Brisbane claimed just his second title in more than 12 seasons on the tour - almost eight years after the first - when he birdied two of the last three holes of the difficult Copperhead course at Innisbrook.
The run included a "magic" chip-in for birdie on the 16th and was enough for a one-stroke win from American Kevin Na as he posted a closing one-under par 70 to finish at seven-under 277.
Most importantly it boosted his belief as he prepares to return to major championship golf, having earned starts in next month's Masters and also the US PGA Championship.
European Tour – Trophee Hassan
Alejandro Cañizares completed a comprehensive wire-to-wire victory at the Trophée Hassan II to end an eight-year wait for a second European Tour title.
Just as Marcel Siem did 12 months ago at Golf du Palais Royal, Cañizares led from the off with an opening 62 and completed a five shot win with a closing round of 70.
That gave the Spaniard a 19 under par total in Agadir, with England’s Andy Sullivan storming home in 29 shots for a best-of-the-day 63 to claim second place.
Cañizares won on only his third European Tour start at the 2006 Russian Open, but has had to wait 199 events for win number two – during which time he has been a runner-up four times.
Victory completes an excellent six months for the 31 year old, who has not missed a cut since September. That run that now stretches to 16 tournaments and includes three other top-ten finishes, and Cañizares was quick to target more titles.
Asian Tour - Solaire Open
Canada’s Richard T. Lee knows a thing or two about the rewards of hard work and even a stroke of lady luck when he won his maiden title at the casino-backed Solaire Open last weekend.
On Sunday, all these winning combinations propelled him towards the finishing line and earned the 23-year-old his career breakthrough on the Asian Tour at US$300,000 event.
“This is the biggest win of my career and it feels great! I’ve worked hard to get this win and it has definitely boosted my confidence and how I approach each tournament from now on,” said Lee.
Since making his debut on the region’s premier Tour by virtue of his second placed finish at Qualifying School last year, the Canadian, whose parents are Korean, went on an astonishing run where he did not miss a single cut in all 11 starts.
He posted three top-10s in his rookie year which included a runner-up finish at the inaugural Solaire Open last year.
Missing out on the grandstand with his several near-misses only forced Lee to step up his game.
Web.com – Brasil Championship presented by HSBC
Jon Curran needed only a 2-under-par 69 on the final day to cap off a record week with a four-stroke win at the Brasil Champions presented by HSBC. Curran jumped out in front with a 10-under 61 in the first round at the Sao Paulo Golf Club and never looked back in a wire-to-wire win, only the second on Tour in the past six-plus years.
The 27-year-old Vanderbilt grad slammed the door with a birdie on the final hole for a 25-under 259 total to collect his first career win and a first-place check worth $144,000.
“I kept thinking to myself all day that I wasn’t nervous, I was just anxious,” said Curran, who led by four at the start of the day. “I said to myself that it was going to be okay if I wasn’t in the lead at some point, I just wanted to have a chance on the back nine.”
Curran never lost the lead on Sunday and very few even had a chance as the Massachusetts native etched his name in the Tour record-book with highlights every day – he made eight consecutive birdies the first round, had the second-lowest 36-hole score (125) in history, matched the lowest 54-hole score ever (190) and his 259 total equaled the fifth-best since the Tour’s inception in 1990.
Asian Development Tour - PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship
American Brett Munson revelled in delight when he claimed his breakthrough win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) with a final round four-under-par 68 at the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship on Saturday.
Munson, who is only playing in his second event on the ADT, compiled a total score of eight-under-par 208 for a one-shot victory over Thai brothers, Annop and Pavit Tangkamolprasert, at the 54-hole RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) ADT event.
Pavit, who held a share of the second round lead, signed for a closing 71 while Annop ended his campaign with a 69 at the Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia.
Malaysia’s Ben Leong, a one-time winner on the premier Asian Tour, emerged as the best local player after battling to a 69 to share fourth place with Japan’s Konozuke Nakazato on matching 210s at the second event of the 2014 ADT season.
Canadian David Rose, Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski and past ADT champion Mitsuhiko Hashizume of Japan finished a further shot back on tied-sixth place after posting rounds of 69, 71 and 71, respectively.
Munson, who fired five birdies against a lone bogey, received a welcome boost coming to Asia after sealing the deal at the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship in Malaysia.