Kane Captures Third-Season Title in Sudden Death
For Gustafson it was a first - she had never been in a playoff before - for Kane it was a situation she was becoming more familiar with.
Kane had found herself in a similar situation earlier this fall. Her win at the New Albany Golf Classic was the result of outplaying Mi Hyun Kim in a one-hole playoff. This time around it was Sophie she watched as the Swede made her way up the 18th making birdie, and matching her score after posting her second consecutive 69 of the tournament.
The two players returned to the par-5 18th tee. Gustafson hit into a bunker and tried to recover only to make par, while Kane made birdie after hitting her wedge to within 5 feet and sank the putt. I don't know how to explain what I'm feeling right now, said the five-year veteran. I'm really excited. I can't wait to talk to my mom and dad and tell them.
For Lorie Kane winning once this season was sweet victory while three-times is a charm. It's just been a great year, Kane said. I started off the season just trying to win one golf tournament, and I've won three now. It's a pretty awesome feeling.
It took the Prince Edward Island native almost five years to win on Tour and now it seems as if she knows the secret to success and there's no turning back. I can't say that anything changed in my game technically. It really came from an attitude change, said the Mizuno Champion. Winning is an attitude. You have to think you can win to win. You have to be sharp and not put yourself behind the eight ball. For me, I had to stay focused on saying to myself that I can win and carrying that confidence to the first tee and to the difficult shots that you face out there.
Gustafson has won twice this season in her own right (Chick-fil-A Charity Championship and the Weetabix Women's British Open) yet had to settle for the $79,129 runner-up check after losing the playoff. She played great golf today, said the runner-up. Six-under-par is a tremendous score. At least I made her fight for it. I didn't give it away.
Yuri Fudoh finished in sole possession of third after rounds of 71-65-70 (206) and won $57,743 in the process.
Former Mizuno champion (1997) finished tied for fourth at nine-under-par (207) with Akiko Fukushima, Michie Ohba, Joanne Morley, Kasumi Fujii and Vicki Goetze-Ackerman.
Defending champion Maria Hjorth fell out of the race with a final day score of 74 leaving her tied for 23rd place at five-under-par 211.
McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School
One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.
It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.
McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).
Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).
Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.
Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award
The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.
The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.
Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.
The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.
A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.
Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4
Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.
Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.
South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.
Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.
The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout
It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.
Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.
Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.
"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."
Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.
Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.