SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Scottie Scheffler successfully defended his WM Phoenix Open title Sunday at TPC Scottsdale to regain the No. 1 spot in the world.
Scheffler closed with a 6-under 65 to beat Nick Taylor by two strokes on the Stadium Course. The 26-year-old Texan took the No. 1 ranking from Rory McIlroy with his fifth PGA Tour victory.
Last year, Scheffler won Phoenix for his first career title, then quickly added three more wins, including the Masters.
Scheffler made a 22-foot eagle putt on the par-5 13th to break a tie with Taylor, then took a two-shot lead on the par-3 16th when he rolled in a 15-footer for par after hitting his tee shot far left on the stadium hole.
Scheffler birdied the par-4 17th and closed with a par to finish at 19-under 265. He earned $3.6 million from the $20 million purse in the second of the PGA Tour’s new designated events, created to bring the top players together more often.
Taylor also finished with a 65. The Canadian bogeyed the 16th, missing a 7-footer after Scheffler holed his par putt.
Jon Rahm, who opened the year with consecutive victories in Hawaii and the California desert, was third at 14 under after a 68. He also was in position to take the No. 1 spot with a victory. Justin Thomas was fourth at 13 under after a 65. McIlroy tied for 32nd at 4 under.
SINGAPORE (AP) — South Africa’s Ockie Strydom shot 9-under 63 on Sunday and rallied for a one-shot victory over Sami Valimaki of Finland in the Singapore Classic on the European tour.
Strydom had the low round of the day at Laguna National Golf Resort Club and finished at 19-under 269 for his second win on the European tour. He won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa in December.
Valimaki, who started the final round two shots behind overnight leaders Jeung-hun Wang and Alejandro del Rey, shot a 6-under 66 to finish one stroke behind Strydom.
Tom McKibbin, a 20-year-old from Northern Ireland who led after the opening round with a 64, tied for 11th after a 71-71 weekend.
KORN FERRY TOUR
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Rhein Gibson of Australia closed with a 7-under 64 and won the Astara Golf Championship by four shots Sunday on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Gibson closed with an eagle on the par-5 finishing hole to finish at 16-under 283 on two courses at the Country Club of Bogota.
Gibson won for the second time on the Korn Ferry Tour, and his first since the BMW Charity Classic in South Carolina in 2019. He moved to No. 3 on the points list.
Kevin Dougherty had a 71 and finished alone in second.
The Korn Ferry Tour now has a month off before beginning the domestic schedule.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Stephen Ames of Canada closed with an even-par 73 in a tough final round in Morocco and claimed a five-shot victory in the Trophy Hassan II for his third career title on the PGA Tour Champions.
It was the first time playing the tournament since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament ended on Saturday to give players more time to get to Florida for the next event.
Mark Hensby of Australia briefly challenged Ames in the final round. He was one shot behind, but after missing a short birdie attempt on the 12th hole, Hensby made double bogeys on the next two holes and Ames coasted to the win.
Takumi Kanaya of Japan closed with a 1-under 71 for a four-shot victory in the International Series Oman on the Asian Tour. It was his fourth victory worldwide for the former No. 1 amateur in the world, and his first outside Japan. … Oliver Bekker took a five-shot lead into the final round and closed with a 4-under 68 to win the Dimension Data Pro-Am in South Africa by four shots over Adam Blomme of Sweden. The tournament was co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the Challenge Tour. … In a battle between a pair of 23-year-old rising stars from Sweden, Maja Stark closed with a 4-under 69 for a four-shot victory over Linn Grant in the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco on the Ladies European Tour. … Michael Hendry closed with an even-par 72 to finish off a four-shot victory in the Vic Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia. Jiyai Shin shot 71 for a five-shot victory in the women’s portion of the Vic Open. The tournaments were held on the same courses for the same prize fund.
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