Rahm wins at Riviera; Langer ties Irwin’s victory record

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jon Rahm returned to No. 1 in the world Sunday by winning the Genesis Invitational with a performance that left no doubt who’s playing the best golf.

Caught in a battle with hometown favorite Max Homa at Riviera, Rahm delivered two big moments with a 45-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-3 14th and then a tee shot to 2 feet for birdie on the par-3 16th.

He closed with a 2-under 69 for a two-shot victory over Homa, finishing at 17-under 267.

“Pretty incredible,” Rahm said. “(To win) at a golf course with this legacy, this history and hosted by Tiger Woods, is such an honor.”

Patrick Cantlay got within one shot on the back nine until two bogeys. He had a 67 to finish alone in third, moving him to No. 4 in the world.

Woods had four bogeys in an eight-hole stretch and shot 73 to tie for 45th.

His success was measured in progress. It was his first time playing 72 holes since the Masters last April — Woods only played twice more since then as he tries to cope with leg and back injuries that will make PGA Tour appearances rare. He did not know if he would play again before the Masters.

Woods still had the largest gallery all the way to the end, thousands of fans packed on the hill over the 18th green to watch him close out with a par in that familiar red shirt under a black vest.

And then the spectators turned their attention to a terrific duel between Rahm and Homa, each with two victories on the PGA Tour this season.

Rahm now has five wins in his last nine starts worldwide, dating to his win in the Spanish Open. He has not finished out of the top 10 in his last 10 tournaments. It was his third win in five starts on the PGA Tour this year, and he already has earned more than $9 million the last two months.


NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Bernhard Langer matched Hale Irwin’s PGA Tour Champions victory record of 45, winning the Chubb Classic for the fifth time.

The 65-year-old Langer matched his age with a closing 7-under 65 for a three-stroke victory over Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington.

Langer finished at 17-under 199 on Tiburon Golf Club’s Black Course. At 65 years, 5 months, 23 days, the German star extended his record as the oldest winner. He holds the top three spots on the list.

Langer also won Chubb titles in 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2022.

Stricker shot a 66, and Harrington closed with a 65.


KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Lydia Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, made her 2023 debut by closing with a 4-under 68 for a one-shot victory Aditi Ashok of India in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International.

Ko finished last year by winning the $2 million prize at the LPGA Tour finale. She got married, skipped the LPGA Tour season opener in Florida and then showed at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club that she was still it form.

Ko, who finished at 267, won $750,000 from the largest purse among regular Ladies European Tour events. It was her 26th victory worldwide.

Lilia Vu, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, slipped to a 71 and tied for third with Manon De Roey of Belgium (63) and Lexi Thompson (66).


CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark won his seventh European tour title by closing with a 6-under 66 for a four-shot victory in the Thailand Classic.

Starting the final round two shots ahead of countryman Nicolai Hojgaard and Yannik Paul of Germany, the Dane never let anyone threaten him in a bogey-free final round at Amata Springs Country Club.

Paul closed with a 68 to finish second. Alexander Knappe of Germany, with a dazzling performance on the back nine where he managed seven birdies, finished with a 67 for 270 to finish joint-third along with Dutchman Joost Luiten (69).

Olesen won for the first time in Asia and picked up his first European tour title since the British Masters last May.


Former U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree closed with a 1-over 73 and won the International Series Qatar by three shots over Gunn Charoenkul of Thailand. Ogletree won $450,000 for his second title on the Asian Tour’s International Series, which is funded by Saudi-backed LIV Golf. … JJ Senekal posted a 7-under 65 and capped off a wire-to-wire victory in the SDC Open in his native South Africa. It was his first title on the Challenge Tour, which co-sanctioned the event with the Sunshine Tour. … David Micheluzzi closed with a 10-under 61 for a four-shot victory over Deyen Lawson and Daniel Gale in the TPS Sydney on the PGA Tour of Australasia.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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