AP NEWS

Im wins Honda Classic, Langer picks up 41st Champions win

March 2, 2020 GMT
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Sungjae Im of South Korea holds the trophy after winning the Honda Classic golf tournament, Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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Sungjae Im of South Korea holds the trophy after winning the Honda Classic golf tournament, Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Sungjae Im started fast and finished stronger Sunday, winning the Honda Classic by one shot over Mackenzie Hughes for his first career PGA Tour victory.

The 21-year-old South Korean closed with a 4-under 66, getting up-and-down for par from a bunker on the par-5 18th.

Hughes (66) made a birdie putt of just outside 50 feet on the 17th hole to give himself a chance. He missed a 20-foot birdie putt that would have forced a playoff. The last chance belonged to Tommy Fleetwood, who needed birdie on the 18th to catch Im. Fleetwood hit his second shot into the water and made bogey for a 71 to finish alone in third.

Im finished at 6-under 274, matching the second-highest score to win the Honda Classic since it moved to PGA National in 2007. Im, the PGA Tour rookie of the year last season, has played more tournaments and more rounds than anyone in the last two seasons, and he now has a victory to show for it.

He birdied four of the opening five holes to get in the mix, and finished with two birdies — both on the par 3s over water — over the last four holes.

Im became the seventh South Korean to win on tour, and he was the 10th international winner at the Honda Classic in the last 16 years.

Fleetwood, who is still seeking his first PGA Tour win, started the day one shot clear of the field and started birdie-birdie to get to 7 under. Then PGA National did what it usually does, that being not let anyone run away from the pack.

Brendan Steele also had a share of the lead on the back nine. He made only one birdie, on No. 5, and had two bogeys over the last five holes for a 71 to tie for fourth with Byeong Hun An, Lee Westwood and Daniel Berger.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Bernhard Langer took another step closer to the PGA Tour Champions victory record by closing with an 8-under 65 to turn a four-shot deficit into at two-shot win in the Cologuard Classic.

Langer was flawless until the the final hole at Tucson National. He made nine birdies in 17 holes to seize control Sunday, and he wound up two shots ahead of Woody Austin.

Langer won for the 41st time on the 50-and-older circuit. Hale Irwin holds the PGA Tour Champions record with 45 victories, the last one coming in 2007.

That was the year Langer was eligible for the senior circuit. The 62-year-old German now has gone 14 consecutive seasons with at least one victory.

Langer finished at 18-under 201, and moved to the top of the Charles Schwab Cup standings.

Brett Quigley began the final round with a three-shot lead and was still in the mix until a double bogey on the par-5 12th hole. He closed with a 73 and tied for third with Rod Pampling.

EUROPEAN TOUR

MUSCAT, Oman (AP) — Sami Valimaki of Finland made par on the third playoff hole to outlast Brandon Stone and win the Oman Open for his first European Tour title.

Valimaki and Stone both birdied the par-4 18th hole at Al Mouj Golf Club for a 2-under 70 to finish on 13-under 275, one shot ahead of Adrien Saddier (69).

Valimaki and Stone both made par the next two times they played the 18th in the playoff, and Valimaki won with a par on the third extra hole.

Valimaki won four times last year on the German-based Pro Golf Tour, and he earned his European Tour card through the qualifying tournament. He won in his sixth European Tour start.

KORN FERRY TOUR

LEON, Mexico (AP) — David Kocher two-putted for birdie on the par-5 18th hole to win a three-man playoff on the first extra hole in El Bosque Mexico Championship for his first Korn Ferry Tour title.

Kocher closed with a 3-under 69 and joined Paul Barjon of France (71) and Chad Ramey (66) in the playoff at Bosque Country Club. Barjon three-putted for par on the final hole in regulation.

Ramey opened with five straight birdies and shot 29 on the front nine. But he bogeyed the 15th and 16th holes to slip into the three-man playoff.

Kocher won last year on the PGA Tour Series China.

Matt Atkins was tied for the lead until a bogey on the par-5 closing hole gave him a 70. He tied for fourth with Dylan Wu (69) and Mito Pereira, the 54-hole leader who closed with a 75.

Pereira, who won earlier this year in the Bogota Classic, moved to the top of the points list.

OTHER TOURS

Brad Kennedy won the New Zealand Open for the second time by closing with a 63 for a two-shot victory over Lucas Herbert in a tournament co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Asian Tour. Kennedy also won the tournament in 2011. Former U.S. Amateur champion Nick Flanagan was third. ... Julia Engstrom birdied the par-3 closing hole for a 68 to finished off a five-shot comeback and win the Women’s New South Wales Open. It was the 18-year-old Swede’s first Ladies European Tour title.