In Gee Chun, Schauffele win after opponents lose late leads

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — In Gee Chun rallied after losing the rest of her once-sizeable lead, overcoming a bogey-filled front nine to win the Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday when Lexi Thompson faltered with her putter.

Chun shot a 3-over 75 for the second consecutive day at Congressional, but that was enough to win her third major title by a stroke over Thompson and Minjee Lee.

Chun, after leading by six at the tournament’s midway point, lost a three-shot advantage in the first three holes of the final round. Thompson was two strokes ahead of her after the front nine, but Thompson’s putting problems were just beginning.

The 27-year-old Floridian botched a par putt from a couple feet on No. 14, but a birdie on 15 restored her lead to two. Then she was just right of the green on the par-5 16th, chipped over the green and made bogey while Chun made birdie, leaving them tied.

Thompson three-putted for bogey on 17, and after an impressive approach from the rough on 18, her birdie putt wasn’t hit firmly enough.

Chun’s approach on the par-4 18th bounced past the hole and just off the back of the green, but she putted to within about 5 feet and sank her par attempt for the win.

Thompson hasn’t won an LPGA Tour event since 2019, and her lone major victory came as a teenager at Mission Hills in the California desert in 2014. She’s certainly had chances. She lost a five-stroke lead during the final round of last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic Club.

PGA TOUR

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Xander Schauffele won the Travelers Championship with a three-stroke swing on the final hole, hitting to 3 feet for birdie after rookie Sahith Theegala took two shots to get out of a bunker and made a double bogey in the group ahead.

A stroke in front entering the day, Schauffele finished with a 2-under 68 at TPC River Highlands to beat Theegala and J.T. Poston by two strokes. The Olympic champion had a 19-under 261 total.

Theegala shot a 67, and Poston had a 64.

Schauffele won for the sixth time on the PGA Tour and the second this season after teaming with Patrick Cantlay to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in April.

Theegala was lurking near the top of the leaderboard all day and grabbed a share of the lead on 15, driving the green on the par-4 hole and making a 4-foot birdie putt. He overtook Schauffele with an 11-footer for birdie on 17, pumping his fist.

But the former Pepperdine star hit his tee shot on 18 left and into the front lip of a fairway bunker. He needed two tries to get out the bunker.

His 12-foot bogey putt lipped out, and he fell to his knees in agony.

USGA AND PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — Padraig Harrington holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 15th right when the last of his five-shot lead was about to vanish, and he closed with three tough pars for a 1-over 72 to hold off Steve Stricker and win the U.S. Senior Open.

Harrington never lost the lead at Saucon Valley on a day when he made it hard on himself.

Stricker, who started the final round eight shots behind, began making his run with consecutive birdies to finish the front nine, and he closed with two straight birdies for a 65.

That left him one shot behind, and the Irishman needed only pars to win for the first time on the PGA Tour Champions. It wasn’t easy.

Harrington had to two-putt from above the ridge on the 16th, and he trickled it down to a foot. He was well below the ridge from about 50 feet away on the par-3 17th and, after running that by 6 feet, calmly rolled in the par putt.

On the closing hole, he was pin-high but some 35 feet away with a spine running through the line of his putt. He cozied that to 3 feet and rapped it in for the win.

Harrington finished at 10-under 274.

He is the third straight player to win the U.S. Senior Open in his debut, following Jim Furyk last year and Stricker in 2019.

EUROPEAN TOUR

MUNICH (AP) — Haotong Li holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Thomas Pieters and win the BMW International Open for his first win in four years.

Li closed with a 2-under 70 and forced into a playoff by Pieters, who shot a 67.

The 26-year-old from China led the tournament since he tied the course record with a 62 in the opening round. Li looked like he might have blown his chance when a bogey on the 15th left him in a three-way tie with Pieters and Ryan Fox.

Li recovered with birdies on the 16th and 17th but missed a birdie putt which could have won the tournament on the final hole. Li then won a playoff for the first time in his career with a birdie as Pieters failed to sink a 10-foot putt.

Fox shot 67 and was finished alone in third.

The victory earned a spot in the British Open for Li, who moved to 17th in the DP World Tour rankings. The leading five players from the top 20 in the rankings who are not already eligbile earned spots at St. Andrews next month.

KORN FERRY TOUR

FALMOUTH, Maine (AP) — Pierceson Coody extended the best month of his golfing life when he went out in 7-under 28 and coasted home to a 5-under 66 for to win in his third start as a pro at the Live and Work in Maine Open on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Coody won by five shots over Jacob Bergeron. In three stars, he already is No. 31 in Korn Ferry Tour points. The top 25 at the end of the regular season earn PGA Tour cards.

The grandson of Masters champion Charles Coody ended his time at Texas as the No. 1 player in the PGA Tour University program, earning status on the Korn Ferry Tour. He helped the Longhorns win a national title. And now he’s a Korn Ferry Tour winner.

It was a big turnaround from December, when Coody and twin brother Parker each broke a bone in their right arm in a freak accident when they braced themselves on a padded cement wall after a relay race.

OTHER TOURS

Ssu-Chia Cheng closed with a 5-under 67 for a six-shot victory in the Island Resort Championship on the Epson Tour. … Minkyu Kim closed with a 2-under 69 and made a 10-foot putt on the 18th in a playoff to defeat Mingyu Cho and win the Korea Open. The 21-year-old Kim and Cho each earned a first trip to the British Open at St. Andrews. … Yuki Inamori birdied the final two holes for a 7-under 65 and a one-shot victory over Kaito Onishi in the Japan Players Championship. Inamori won for the second time this year on the Japan Golf Tour. … Alfie Plant captured his second Challenge Tour title by closing with a 2-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Ruaidhri McGee in the Blot Open de Bretagne. … Czech amateur Jana Melicholva won the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open with a 2-under 69 to finish one shot ahead of Klara Spilkova and Nicole Broch Estrup on the Ladies European Tour. … Jesus Montenegro closed with an even par 72 and held on for a two-shot victory over Andres Gallegos in the Shell Championship in Mexico on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. … PGA Canada’s Elk Ridge Open was canceled because of rain that made Elk Ridge Resort unplayable. Players managed to finish only the first round. … Ayako Kimura closed with a 2-under 69 for a one-shot victory over Yuna Nishimura and Shoko Sasaki in the Earth Mondahmin Cup on the Japan LPGA. … Min Ji Park closed with a 2-under 70 and made birdie on the first playoff hole to beat Ji Young Park in the BC Card Hankyung Ladies Cup on the Korean LPGA.

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