Scheffler wins Hero World Challenge, Niemann wins Australia Open

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Scottie Scheffler closed with a 4-under 68 for a three-shot victory Sunday in the Hero World Challenge for his fifth victory of the year.

Scheffler, a runner-up in the Bahamas the last two years, played bogey-free at Albany and didn’t let anyone get closer than two shots on the back nine.

The week wasn’t a total loss for Tiger Woods, the tournament host playing for the first time since surgery to fuse his right ankle a few weeks after the Masters in April. Woods finished 72 holes for only the third time in the last two years. He has played six tournaments following the recovery from his February 2021 car crash in Los Angeles that badly injured his right leg.

Woods closed with a 72 and ended up 18th at even par. Scheffler finished at 20-under 268.

Sepp Straka had three late birdies for a 64 to finish second. Justin Thomas had a 67 to finish alone in third. It was his third straight finish in the top 5 dating to September.


SYDNEY (AP) — Joaquin Niemann of Chile beat Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino on the second playoff hole to win the Australian Open men’s title on a wild final day.

In the Women’s Australian Open held currently, Ashleigh Buhai held off a fast-finishing Minjee Lee to become the first woman to win back-to-back titles since Yani Tseng in 2011.

Niemann made an eagle at the second extra hole after a number of contenders slipped away on the back nine due to gusting winds at The Australian.

Starting the day four shots behind, Niemann — one of the big-name signings of the breakaway LIV Golf league — produced a 5-under-par 66 to finish at 14-under 271 as he surged up the leaderboard and took the clubhouse lead.

Hoshino, who was runner-up to Min Woo Lee at last week’s Australia PGA Championships, made a number of clutch putts and closed with a 70 to make the playoff at 14 under. Lee shot 72 and finished in third at 12 under. Adam Scott had the lead with three holes to play until hitting out-of-bounds on his 16th hole for a triple bogey that ended his bid.

Buhai made 15 pars and three bogeys for a 75 to finish at 9-under 280, one better than Lee, the older sister of Min Woo Lee.


JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Dean Burmester secured back-to-back wins on home soil, closing with a 4-under 68 for a three-shot victory in the South African Open.

Coming off a win at the Joburg Open last week, Burmester rallied from two shots off the lead. Burmester, who plays in the LIV Golf League, moves to No. 77 in the world ranking.

Italian Renato Paratore (70), Sweden’s Jesper Svensson (71) and South African Ryan van Velzen (73) tied for second. Van Velzen shared the overnight lead with countryman Jayden Schaper (74), who finished tied for fifth on 7 under overall.

The 34-year-old Burmester now has four European tour victories.

Burmester and former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel were the only LIV Golf players in the field. Schwartzel shot a 76 on Sunday and tied for 45th.


Taiga Semikawa closed with a 2-under 68 for a one-shot victory over Keita Nakajima (69) and Takumi Kanaya (67) to win the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, a dynamic conclusion to the Japan Golf Tour season among its three best young players. … Suteepat Prateeptienchai closed with a 4-under 68 and won the Taiwan Glass Taifong Open by four shots on the Asian Tour. … Adilson da Silva of Brazil had a 3-under 68 for a three-shot victory in the Vinpearl DIC Legends in Vietnam to close out Europe’s Legends Tour.


AP golf:

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