US Women’s Open set for Monday finish in rainy Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — The latest U.S. Women’s Open on the calendar will last one more day because of relentless rain that drenched Champions Golf Club and forced the USGA to suspend the final round until Monday.

Hinako Shibuno of Japan, who had a one-shot lead as she goes for a second major, never teed off.

The USGA moved up tee times as early as possible Sunday because of the forecast, and the final round was just over an hour old when thunderstorms in the area caused play to be stopped. It never resumed, with about three-quarters of an inch of rain falling before there was no point in trying to restart.

The turf in the December climate doesn’t drain as quickly. Plus, heavy rain soaked the course Friday after the second round. There was standing water across Champions even during spells when the rain subsided.

The U.S. Women’s Open was postponed from early June because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be the first Monday finish for the U.S. Women’s Open since So Yeon Ryu won at The Broadmoor in Colorado in 2011.

Shibuno won the Women’s British Open last year in her major championship debut — and her first tournament outside Japan — and is bidding to become the third woman to win two majors the first time playing them. Se Ri Pak was the most recent in 1998 at the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open.

She was at 4-under 209, one shot ahead of Amy Olson, the 28-year-old from North Dakota who has not won in her seven years on the LPGA Tour.

EUROPEAN TOUR

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Lee Westwood won the Race to Dubai points race to end a season as the European Tour’s No. 1 player for the third time, at the age of 47, after a crazy finish in the DP World Tour Championship won in dramatic circumstances by Matt Fitzpatrick.

Westwood finished second at 14 under after a 4-under 68. It was was enough to jump to the top of the Race to Dubai standings — but only after meltdowns by his rivals in the final holes at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Patrick Reed, seeking to become the first American to be Europe’s top player, bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17 to drop out. Then, Laurie Canter had a double bogey on No. 17 and could only par the last, leaving Westwood alone in second.

Fitzpatrick made par at No. 18 for a 68 and a one-shot victory. He also won the event in 2016.

Westwood won what was formerly known as the Order of Merit title for the first time 20 years ago at Valderrama, and again in 2009 in Dubai.

PGA TOUR

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Matt Kuchar and Harris English broke a bunch of their own QBE Shootout records in a runaway victory at Tiburon Golf Club.

Kuchar and English became the first team to win the event three times, finished at 37-under 179 to break the mark of 34 under they set in 2013, and won by nine strokes to top their 2013 record of seven.

Five strokes ahead after an 11-under 61 on Saturday in modified alternate-shot play, Kuchar and English shot a 60 in better-ball play. English closed birdie-eagle-birdie.

Also the 2016 winners, they had the eagle and 10 birdies in the final round.

Defending champions Rory Sabbatini and Kevin Tway tied for second at 28 under with the all-rookie team of Lanto Griffin and Mackenzie Hughes and first-round leaders Kevin Na and Sean O’Hair.

Sabbatini and Tway shot 61, Griffin and Hughes 62, and Na and O’Hair 64.

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