Canadian Taylor unflappable down the stretch, wins WM Phoenix Open in playoff
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Nick Taylor made an 11-foot birdie putt to beat Charley Hoffman on the second hole of a playoff after birdieing three of the last four in regulation Sunday, capping another wild week at the Phoenix Open with his second memorable victory.
Taylor closed with a 6-under 65 to reach 21-under 263, with the 35-year-old Canadian forcing the playoff with a 9-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th. Last year, he took the Canadian Open with a 72-foot eagle putt on the fourth playoff hole to become the first Canadian in 69 years to win his national open.
Both players birdied the extra hole and hit the green on No. 18 a second time — Taylor from the right rough, Hoffman from the left fairway bunker. Hoffman left his birdie putt short and Taylor birdied the hole for the third time in less than an hour as the sun dipped below the horizon.
Taylor won his fifth PGA Tour title to end a chaotic week of weather delays and the rare decision to close the gates — and, gulp, cut off liquor sales — when things started to get out of hand Saturday.
Taking advantage of the first pleasant day of the week in the desert, Hoffman moved into contention by finishing off a 64 on TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium in the morning to complete his weather-delayed third round. He was 4 under in a three-hole stretch on the back nine and had a three-shot lead when he finished.
Taylor shot a course-record 60 in the opening round. He finished off a third-round 68 in Sunday morning.
Two-time defending champion Scottie Scheffler shot a 66 to tie Sam Burns for third at 18 under.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Rikuya Hoshino of Japan captured his first European tour title by closing with a 4-under 68 to win the Qatar Masters by one shot.
The 27-year-old Hoshino rolled in a par putt from 5 feet at the 18th hole and punched the air after holding off playing partner Ugo Coussard, who made birdie at the last for a 69 to finish alone in second place.
Hoshino previously won six times on the Japan Golf Tour. This was his 34th appearance on the European tour tour and he already two runner-up finishes this season, at the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship.
He is the fourth Japanese winner in European tour history, after Isao Aoki, Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Hisatsune.
KORN FERRY TOUR
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Kevin Velo won the Astara Golf Championship for his first Korn Ferry Tour title, taking advantage of Brian Campbell's late collapse to get into a playoff that he took with a birdie on the first hole.
Campbell went out in 30, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 eighth, and led by four with two holes left. He made a double bogey on 17, a three-shot swing when Velo made birdie. Velo birdied the par-5 18th, and Campbell made par. They each shot 5-under 66 to finish at 22-under 261 at Bogota Country Club, playing three rounds on the 7,237-yard Lagos course and one on the 6,254-yard Pacos layout.
The week was marked by two sub-60s rounds at Pacos — Cristobal Del Solar with a Korn Ferry Tour-record 57 on Thursday, Aldrich Potgieter with a 59 on Friday. Del Solar closed with a 63 and finished fifth. Potgieter went 73-71 on the weekend and tied for 20th.
Shannon Tan became the first player from Singapore to win on the Ladies European Tour when she closed with a 3-under 70 for a four-shot victory in the Magical Kenya Ladies Open. ... Mikael Lindberg of Sweden closed with a 5-under 67 and defeated Ryan Van Velzen in the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open in a tournament co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour and then Sunshine Tour. ... Kazuma Kobori of New Zealand won for the third time in four weeks on the Webex Players Series, posting a 6-under 66 for a one-shot victory at Castle Hill in Sydney on the PGA Tour of Australasia.