Poston wins John Deere, Meronk first Pole to win in Europe
SILVIS, Ill. (AP) — J.T. Poston completed a wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the John Deere Classic for his second PGA Tour title and a spot in the British Open.
Three strokes ahead entering the day at TPC Deere Run, Poston closed with a 2-under 69 for a three-stroke margin over fellow British Open qualifiers Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Emiliano Grillo.
Poston finished at 21-under 263. He opened with rounds of 62, 65 and 67.
Bezuidenhout shot a 66, and Grillo had a 69.
Christopher Gotterup, the former Rutgers player in the field on a sponsor exemption, had a 66 to tie for fourth at 17 under with Scott Stallings (70).
Poston birdied the first three holes, bogeyed Nos. 5 and 6 and parred the next 10. He made a 4-footer for birdie on the par-5 17th and parred the 18th.
The 29-year-old player from Hickory, North Carolina, won a week after tying for second in Connecticut in the Travelers Championship. He also won the 2019 Wyndham Championship.
THOMASTOWN, Ireland (AP) — Adrian Meronk became Poland’s first winner on the European tour with a superb closing stretch at Mount Juliet for a 6-under 66 and a three-shot victory in the Irish Open.
Meronk was one shot behind Ryan Fox of New Zealand with four holes remaining when he went birdie-birdie-eagle to give himself room for error on the tough closing hole. He made par and walked off the 18th green soaked in a champagne celebration.
Fox closed with a 64, and he feared a bogey on the final hole might cost him in the end. Meronk played so well over the closing stretch that it didn’t matter.
Meronk tied for the lead with a 25-foot birdie on the 15th, made an 18-foot birdie putt on the next hole and then effectively ended it with an eagle from just short of the green on the par-5 17th hole.
Meronk, who finished at 20-under 268, Fox and Thriston Lawrence (67) already were exempt for the British Open. The three spots available from the Irish Open went to American John Catlin, David Law of Scotland and Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay. They tied for fourth on 273.
Meronk, who played college golf at East Tennessee State, will be the first Polish player in the British Open at St. Andrews in two weeks. He already was the first Pole in the U.S. Open last year at Torrey Pines, and the first to even earn a European tour card.
KORN FERRY TOUR
BERTHOUD, Colo. (AP) — Zecheng “Marty” Dou of China ran off three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine and closed with a 5-under 67 for a one-shot victory over Carl Yuan in The Ascendant for his first Korn Ferry Tour title in three years.
The victory moved Dou up to No. 2 in the points list and assured him of having a PGA Tour card for the first time in five years.
Yuan, who leads the Korn Ferry points list, began the back nine on the TPC Colorado with four straight birdies and briefly had the lead. Dou caught him with a birdie on the 13th, and then he added birdies on the 15th and 16th to take control.
Yuan, also from China, bogeyed the 18th and allowed Dou to take a two-shot lead to the final hole. He also closed with a bogey.
Dou finished at 17-under 267. Augusto Nunez (68), Brandon Matthews (68) and Jeremy Paul (66) tied for third, two shots behind.
Team International won 13 matches and halved four others to defeat Team USA in the Palmer Cup at Geneva Golf Club. The matches had been tied at 18 going into Sunday singles. Team International won for the third time in the last four years in the Ryder Cup-style competition of male and female college players. ... Maja Stark of Sweden closed with a 2-under 70 for a one-shot victory over Leonie Harm and Jessica Karlsson in the Amundi German Masters. Stark won for the third time this year on the Ladies European Tour and fifth since leaving Oklahoma State last year. ... Kristian Krogh Johannessen closed with a 4-under 67 and won the Italian Challenge Open when Oliver Hunderboll made double bogey on the first playoff hole. It was the Dane’s first win on the Challenge Tour. ... Brian Carlson closed with a 7-under 65 for a one-shot victory over Chris Wilson in the Prince Edward Island Open, moving to the top of the points list on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. ... Serena Aoki closed with a 3-under 69 for a two-shot victory in the Shiseido Ladies Open on the Japan LPGA. ... Jin-hee Im had a 3-under 69 in the final round for a two-shot victory in the McCall Mona Park Open on the Korean LPGA.
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