Hovland wins in Mexico; Stanford takes home event in Texas

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) — Viktor Hovland of Norway holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole Sunday for a 6-under 65 and a one-shot victory in the Mayakoba Golf Classic, his second PGA Tour victory this year.

It was the first time since the Mayakoba Classic began in 2007 that it was won with a birdie putt on the final hole. For the 23-year-old Hovland, it’s old hat. He made a 30-foot birdie putt on the last hole to win the Puerto Rico Open in February.

Aaron Wise closed with a 63 and did everything right over the last two holes except make the birdie putts. Tied for the lead, he missed birdie putts from 12 feet on each of the last two holes at El Camaleon Golf Club.

Hovland had four birdies in the opening six holes and built a two-shot lead going into the back nine on a course softened by rain that caused a two-hour delay in the morning. But he made bogey on the 12th hole, and that seemed to create chances for a half-dozen players separated by one shot along the back nine.

Hovland responded with birdies on the next two holes, and he appeared to be in control with a tee shot to 4 feet on the par-3 15th. But he hit a tentative putt to remain tied with Wise, and Hovland thought he was in big trouble when his long iron on the 515-yard 16th hole sailed hard to the right toward the mangrove trees. It came down in the waste area a few feet from the hazard, and he hit a splendid sand shot to 4 feet to save par.

Hovland, starting his second season on the PGA Tour after a stellar college career at Oklahoma State, finished at 20-under 264 and moved to No. 15 in the world.

Adam Long (67) and Tom Hoge (69) tied for third at 17-under 267.

LPGA TOUR

THE COLONY, Texas (AP) — Angela Stanford won her home LPGA Tour event in front of her parents, closing with a 4-under 67 for a two-stroke victory in the Volunteers of America Classic.

The 43-year-old former TCU star from Fort Worth won her seventh LPGA Tour title and first since the major Evian Championship in 2018. She finished at 7-under 277 at Old American Golf Club in the event that started in bone-chilling cold Thursday.

Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu and 19-year-old Yealimi Noh, tied for the third-round lead, each shot 70 to tie for second in the final tuneup before the U.S. Women’s Open next week at Champions Golf Club in Houston.

Top-ranked Jin Young Ko was fifth at 4 under after a 70 in her second LPGA Tour start of the year.

EUROPEAN TOUR/SUNSHINE TOUR

SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Christiaan Bezuidenhout won for the second straight week on the European Tour, taking the South African Open at at Gary Player Country Club.

The 26-year-old South African became the first player since Justin Rose in 2017 to win European Tour events on consecutive weeks. Bezuidenhout won the Alfred Dunhill Championship, also in South Africa, last weekend. He has career tour titles.

He closed with a 3-under 69 for an 18-under 270 total.

Jamie Donaldson of Wales was second after a 69.

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