Australian Adam Scott held off countryman Stuart Appleby to win the US$5.5 million PGA Houston Open by three strokes and capture his fifth career title on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Scott closed out the victory by nailing a 16m putt on the final hole to post his second consecutive bogey-free round and finish with a six-under 66.
"It worked out well," Scott said. "My plan was to come here and feel the juices flowing and they certainly were flowing that last hole."
He regained the lead with four holes to play and took a one-shot lead into the final hole.
Opening the door
But Scott hooked his tee shot on 18 into the water, opening the door for defending champ Appleby to possibly force a playoff.
"I was disappointed with my tee shot. I just hit it on the wrong side," Scott said.
Appleby's chances disappeared when he landed in the sand off the 18th tee and then followed Scott into the water with his second shot.
Tied with Appleby for the lead through 10 holes, Scott took charge with two birdies on his final eight holes. Appleby bogeyed three of his final five.
Scott, who has two wins in his last six starts, heads to next week's Masters in a positive frame of mind.
Most of the top players have chosen to practice their way into form leading up to The Masters.
Tiger Woods, defending Masters champion Phil Mickelson, South African Ernie Els and three-time Houston Open champion Vijay Singh of Fiji all are took the week off in preparation for the first major of the year, which starts on Thursday at Augusta National.
Scott is the seventh Australian to win here, joining Appleby, Bruce Devlin, Bruce Crampton, David Graham and Robert Allenby.
US player Bubba Watson, who began the fourth round with a three-stroke lead, shot a par 72 and tied Appleby for second.
Tommy Armour shot 66 and finished fourth, four shots back.
Pressel wins Kraft
Precocious professional Morgan Pressel became the youngest player in LPGA history to win a major title on Sunday with her triumph in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club.
Pressel, 18, capped a flawless 3-under-par 69 with a 5m birdie at the final hole for a 3-under total of 285.
As she waited in the clubhouse, overnight co-leader Suzann Pettersen squandered a three-shot lead to hand the youngster the victory in the US$2 million tournament, the first women's major of this year.
Pressel, who started the round four strokes off the pace, collected the US$300,000 first prize for her first career title.
`Dream come true'
"This is just a dream come true," Pressel said. "This is my first professional victory and to make it in a major is incredible."
Pettersen, the 2001 Ladies European Tour rookie of the year, bogeyed 15, double-bogeyed 16 and bogeyed 17 to fall a shot behind Pressel.
She then missed her bid birdie 18 and force a playoff.
She carded a 74 to finish tied for second on 286 with Britain's Catriona Matthew (71) and US player Brittany Lincicome (72).
South Korean Se Ri Pak, bidding to complete a career Grand Slam, entered the final round tied with Pettersen for the lead but closed with a five-over 77 to finish tied for 10th, five shots back.
She was joined on 289 by last year's player of the year Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, who posted a final-round 72.
Neither defending champion Karrie Webb of Australia nor Swedish superstar Annika Sorenstam were able to challenge Pressel, Pettersen or Pressel in the final round.
Webb shot her second straight 73 for 293, while Sorenstam concluded a disappointing week with a 75 for 297.
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
PANDEMIC HYGIENE: Players had their temperatures checked, carried their own equipment and towels, and tapped rackets to congratulate the match winners Alison Riske and Danielle Collins of the US and Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic were among the winners on Friday, the opening day of a women’s tennis mini-tournament in Florida that offered professional players an opportunity to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The WTA women’s tennis tour canceled four more events this week and is not to resume until at least July 20. However, four women ranked in the top 60 in the world turned out for the UTR Pro Match Series event in Palm Beach, which followed a similar event for men two weeks ago. World No. 51 Collins toppled 28th-ranked compatriot Amanda Anisimova
The Rakuten Monkeys remained atop the CPBL table, despite a 5-7 loss to the Uni-President Lions in Taoyuan yesterday, while the CTBC Brothers fell to the Fubon Guardians at the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium. The visiting Guardians blasted three home runs in their 7-3 triumph, helping Dominican pitcher Henry Sosa pocket his second win of the season. Improving his record to 2-2, Sosa sailed through seven innings, allowing six hits while striking out five. He gave up one earned run in the opening frame, with two Brothers relievers mopping up the final two innings. Fubon’s marquee stars, designated hitter Hu Chin-lung and first baseman
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and