Morikawa wins in Dubai, Ko wins LPGA Tour final in Florida

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Jin Young Ko of Korea reacts to his putt on the 17th green during the final of the LPGA Tour Championship golf tournament on Sunday November 21, 2021 in Naples, Fla. (AP Photo / Rebecca Blackwell)

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Collin Morikawa closed a sensational year with five birdies in his last seven holes to close with a 6-under 66 and win the DP World Championship on Sunday, making him the first American to win the Race to Dubai as the top player. of the European Tour. .

Winning two trophies in Dubai comes on top of a year in which the 24-year-old Californian won the British Open and landed the decisive putt in the Ryder Cup.

His last stretch allowed him to overhaul a declining Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy, chasing back-to-back titles after his CJ Cup win on the PGA Tour last month, started the final round with a one-stroke lead – three ahead of Morikawa – and his game seemingly at its best. has been forming for some time.

He was still in the lead, despite a superb charge on the last day of defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick, when a token on the green at the 15th hole hit the flagstick and the ball bounced into a bunker. This led to the first of three bogeys in his last four holes as McIlroy finished with a 74 and tied for sixth place.

Fitzpatrick (66) and Alexander Bjork (70) are tied for second.

LPGA TOUR

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – Facing high stakes against her toughest opponent, Jin Young Ko delivered a near-perfect performance to win the richest award in women’s golf and overtake Nelly Korda for player of the year of the LPGA.

Ko started with a 25-foot bird putt and has never looked back in the CME Group Tour championship. She shot 30 on the top nine and finished in the low round of the tournament at 9 under 63 for a one-stroke victory over Nasa Hataoka of Japan.

Ko, who has suffered a left wrist injury since May, was so perfect she hit the last 63 greens in regulation at Tiburon Golf Club.

This victory brought in a jackpot, over $ 1.5 million for the winner. The 26-year-old South Korean was set to win the tournament to claim the LPGA Player of the Year award, the second time in three years Ko has won the award.

Korda’s big year as a major champion and Olympic gold medalist ended with a thud. The 23-year-old American finished with a 69 and tied for fifth, six strokes behind.

Ko won the season finale for the second year in a row, and it took everything she had. She started the final round in a tie four for the lead with Korda, Hataoka and Celine Boutier and quickly left everyone in her wake with four birdies on the first six holes.

The winner finished 23-under 265 for her 12th career victory. She has won five of the last nine tournaments she has competed in on the LPGA Tour and became the first five-time LPGA winner since 2016.

PGA TOUR

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga (AP) – Talor Gooch was playing too well to be fazed by anything in the final round of the RSM Classic, and it paid off with his first PGA Tour title when he finished with a 6 -less than 64 for a three-stroke victory at Sea Island.

He was playing with two guys who have already won. He was pushed early by a former Sea Island champion. The buzz in the middle of the round was another player flirting with 59.

Gooch had three birdies in four holes to start the last nine and let no one get close to top off a steep fall with the ultimate prize. The victory propelled him to the top of the FedEx Cup standings, 33rd in the world and Augusta National in April for the Masters.

Gooch tied the tournament record of 22 under 260 set by Kevin Kisner in 2014. He became the seventh player in the event’s 12-year history to make the RSM Classic his first victory.

Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes, who won the tournament in 2016, rallied the group ahead of Gooch with four birdies in his last six holes, capped by a 20-foot putt in 18th for a 62 to finish second at 19-minus from 263.

Sebastian Munoz (65) was only third and Tyler McCumber (60), Cameron Smith (64), Tom Hoge (67) and Seamus Power (68) tied for fourth.

With the Masters, Gooch will start next year in Maui for the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua.

OTHER CIRCUITS

Chan Kim birdied his last two holes for an Under-63 score and a one-stroke win in the Dunlop Phoenix. It was the seventh career Japan Golf Tour victory for Kim, who grew up in Hawaii and played for Arizona State. Naoyuki Kataoka (65) and Ryosuke Kinoshita (67) finished a shot behind. … Erika Hara finished with a score of under 68 for a three-stroke victory in the Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open, her first victory this year over the Japan LPGA. … Valery Plata of Colombia finished with a 1-under-71 to win the first Latin American women’s amateur championship with a shot over Maria Jose Marin Negrete of Colombia. Plata won places in the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship next year.

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