Ernst wins Portland Classic
Austin Ernst won the LPGA Tour’s Portland Classic in Oregon on Sunday with a par on the first hole of a playoff against South Korea’s I.K. Kim. It was the first professional victory for the 22-year-old Ernst, who shot a 5-under 67 in the final round to get to 14-under at Columbia Edgewater. Kim, the leader after the first and second rounds, carded a 68. Ernst pulled into contention with a 5-under 31 on the front nine, highlighted by a chip-in eagle at the par-5 fifth. Kim made four birdies and no bogeys. South Korean’s Ryu So-yeon Ryu and Chella Choi tied for third at 12-under. Ryu, last month’s Canadian Open winner, shot 70, while Choi had a 68.
Otto claims Italian Open
Hennie Otto of South Africa held on to claim a second Italian Open victory by two shots on Sunday, while Stephen Gallacher came up just short of an automatic Ryder Cup spot after finishing third. Otto, who won the event in 2008, shot a 4-under 68 to finish with a 20-under total of 268 and hold off David Howell, who surged up the leaderboard with a 63 to finish second. Howell opened with an eagle and added seven birdies to beat Gallacher (65) by one shot. Gallacher needed a top-two finish to dislodge former US Open Champion Graeme McDowell from the automatic Ryder Cup places for Europe’s team. It was only the 38-year-old’s Otto’s second tournament since his recovery from two back operations. Europe captain Paul McGinley is to announce his three wild cards today. “It was a tall order, but I am proud of myself the way I have played,” Gallacher said.
Fans riot in Malaysia
Six people were arrested after soccer fans rioted and torched a police car in Malaysia before being dispersed by tear gas and baton-charges, an official said yesterday. Local media said about 2,000 people were involved in disturbances on Saturday after Sarawak’s team were knocked out of the Malaysia Cup when they drew 1-1 with rival state Perak. Five policemen suffered minor injuries after stones and broken bottles were hurled at them, while some fans were also hurt and needed medical attention. Sarawak Football Association president Sudarsono Osman said that the incident, which lasted for about two hours, took place despite the presence of 400 police. He said supporters in the eastern state were taking revenge for being targeted by Perak fans during last week’s 2-0 away game. Sudarsono also said Sarawak were expecting punishment from the Football Association of Malaysia. “Definitely, they will take action,” he said. The national body and police officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Henley leads Deutsche Bank
Russell Henley made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch on Sunday and had a 6-under 65 to take a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massechusetts. For the second straight week, a FedEx Cup playoff event is wide open going into the final round. This one includes Rory McIlroy. The world’s No. 1 player had a 64. McIlroy was two shots off the lead at the TPC Boston heading into the Labor Day finish. Jason Day (69) and Chris Kirk (64) also were two behind. Ten players were separated by four shots. Henley won the Honda Classic in a four-man playoff earlier this year. He was at 12-under 201. Billy Horschel birdied his last three holes for a 67 and was to play in the final group with Henley.