Winners Around the World of Golf-March 24 2019

Missed any of the past weekend’s champions around the world of golf? Last Word on Golf has you covered with quick recaps of the top tours weekend events. Check back every Monday for the latest to be crowned Champion.

Paul Casey goes back to back at the Valspar

For the first time in PGA Tour history the defending champion entering Innisbrook’s Copperhead course walked away as the back to back winner. Last year it was a one stroke victory over Patrick Reed and Tiger Woods. This year it came down to just one stroke once again, this time with Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen hot on his trail.

Jason Kokrak made waves during Saturday’s third round following a hole in one at the par-3 15th. Kokrak joined Oostuhizen Sunday in a battle up the leaderboard. Unfortunately the two challengers fell just short following late bogeys while navigating the difficult closing stretch known as “The Snake Pit”.

Despite a bogey of his own on 17 followed by an errant tee shot on 18, Casey maintained his composure to par the final hole and bring home his second Valspar Championship. The now three-time PGA Tour winner held a share of the lead Friday and never looked back. The vistory at the Valspar was the 21st pro victory and moved the Englishman to 4th in the FedEx Cup Rankings and 11th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

With the rest of the world fixated on March Madness 64 of golf’s top competitors will get together looking to some brackets of their own this weekend at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship. Defending champion Bubba Watson will look to secure back to back titles against a field of 62 of the world’s 64 top ranked competitors. Notable names in this year’s field include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and more.

Jin Young Ko fends off the Korda sisters at the LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Already a 10-time winner on the Korean Tour, South Korea’s Jin Young Ko didn’t even crack the leaderboard’s top-15 heading into the weekend at the LPGA Bank of Hope Founders Cup. A bogey free third round of 64 catapulted Ko into the top five but still four strokes back of leader Yu Liu heading into Sunday.

Keeping the momentum steady from Saturday, Ko once again stayed the course without a single bogey over her final round. Adding to her success was er ability to hit 16 greens in regulations leading to 7 birdies. While Ko sat in the clubhouse with the lead it wasn’t an easy waiting game for the 23-year old.

Sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda pushed the pace up the leaderboard throughout Sunday’s final round. Jessica turned in two eagles over the final nine but came up just inches short of forcing a playoff on the final hole of the day. Adding to the group tied for second, finishing just one stroke off the lead, were Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and the 54-hole leader Liu.

With her share of second place Nelly Korda maintained her spot on top of the season-long Race to the CME Globe. The win for Ko propelled her up five spots from 7th to 2nd. The Race to the CME Globe continues on this weekend with the 2019 Kia Classic.

Scott Hend endures rain delay and playoff at the European Tour’s Maybank Championship

From Malaysia’s Saujana Golf and Country Club Australia’s Scott Hend used his skill around the course, along with a little luck to secure his third European Tour victory. It wasn’t an easy Sunday to close things out for the champion at the Maybank Championship. A rain delay halted the action while a battle between Hend and 54-hole leader Nacho Elvira waged on.

After the rain subsided Elvira nailed an emphatic 30-foot birdie putt to force a playoff at 15-under par. Both went wayward on their opening tee shot but while Elvira found the sand of a fairway bunker, Hend’s tee shot hit the base of a tree and dribbled back into the fairway. Two strokes and a birdie later Hend was a champion once again.

The thunderous playoff wasn’t the only headline coming out of the Maybank Championship as veteran Ernie Els picked his 300th top-10 finish. Since the Official World Golf Ranks began in 1986 Els is the first player to accomplish the historic feat. While many top names will be at the WGC Match Play this weekend, the rest will be teeing it up at the Hero Indian Open.

Covello takes home his first victory

The 15-year pro out of Springfield, Pennsylvania finally cashed in on championship success at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open this past weekend. Battling it out at Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club Vince Covello finished off his final hole of regulation with a birdie to force a sudden death playoff. Joining the 36-year old on the tee box for extra holes was Ohio’s Justin Lower, also seeking his first career victory.

Playing the par-4 18th until they determined a winner, both competitors made par the first two tries at the playoff. Going back for the third time around Covello dialed in his approach to set up a tournament winning birdie. The Tour will be back in action this weekend at the Savannah Golf Championship.

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