Jason Day birdied two of his final three holes Sunday for a 2-under 69 and a two-shot victory over Aaron Wise and Nick Watney in the Wells Fargo Championship, his second victory this year.
After squandering a three-shot lead on the back nine, Day rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and then effectively won the tournament when his tee shot on the 230-yard 17th hole crashed into the flagstick and settled 3 feet away. He was the only player to make birdie on No. 17 at Quail Hollow in the final round, and it staked him to a two-shot lead.
Wise, a PGA Tour rookie, saved par on his last two holes for a 68. Watney made a 59-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 69 and his best finish in three years.
Day finished at 12-under 272 and returns to the top 10 in the world.
Tiger Woods was never a factor. He failed to make birdie in the final round of a PGA Tour event for only the second time in his career, and the first since the Cadillac Championship at Doral in 2014. Woods closed with a 74 and finished 14 shots behind.
Even with a two-shot lead going into the final round, it was a struggle for Day. He missed for straight fairways on the back nine, two of them with an iron, one of them hooking into the water on No. 14 that led to bogey.
He called it “one of the best wins I have ever had.”
“I felt like I went 10 rounds out there just fighting against myself,” Day said.
He won for the 12th time in his career.
PGA Tour Champions: Bernhard Langer won his first PGA Tour Champions event of the year when he saved par on the final hole and closed for a 2-under 70 for a one-shot victory in the Insperity Invitational.
Langer had to rally from as many as four shots behind in the final round at the The Woodlands Country Club. He birdied two straight holes around the turn, added birdies on both par 5s on the back nine and then had to scramble for par on the 18th hole.
He was right of the fairway among pine trees blocking his path over the water to the green. Langer was behind a TV structure, however, and chose to take relief to the right away from the trees. It left him a blind shot, but without pines in his way. He went just right of the green, hit a delicate chip to just under 4 feet and made the putt.
Paul Goydos (68) led for much of the back nine until a bogey on the 18th hole. He tied for second with Jeff Maggert and Bart Bryant, who each had a 69.
The 60-year-old Langer won for the 37th time on the PGA Tour Champions, which trails only Hale Irwin’s 45. It was Langer’s fourth win at the Insperity Invitational.
Langer had gone nine senior starts without winning. He had lost in playoffs his previous two tournaments.
The victory moves to Langer to the top of the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
LPGA Tour: Sung Hyun Park chipped in from behind the green for birdie on the final hole for a 5-under 66 and a one-shot victory in the LPGA Texas Classic, a tournament cut to 36 holes because of rain.
Because of the rain delays and stop-and-start nature of the tournament, Park was part of a five-way tie for the lead going into the second and final round. However, she finished 90 minutes before the tournament ended because groupings were not changed from the opening round.
Park finished at 11-under 131.
Lindy Duncan birdied her last three holes for a 64 to finish one shot behind. Yu Liu of China had a 66 and was another shot back.
Park was the LPGA Tour rookie of the year and shared the LPGA player of the year award with So Yeon Ryu last year. This was her first victory of the year, and she was the 11th winner in 11 tournaments on the LPGA Tour this year.
With a 36-hole event that began with a full field, some players went 35 holes on Saturday and returned to play one hole on Sunday.
European Tour: Ireland won the second edition of the GolfSixes tournament as Gavin Moynihan and Paul Dunne beat the French pair of Romain Wattel and Mike Lorenzo-Vera in the final on Sunday.
The Irish overcame the England Women’s team of Charley Hull and Georgia Hall 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the six-hole match play event, then beat South Korea in the semifinals, with Moynihan chipping in for a birdie on the first playoff hole.
Moynihan and Dunne then defeated France 2-0 at Centurion Club to secure the first prize of 100,000 euros each. That almost doubled Moynihan’s career earnings on the European Tour, for just two days’ work. The 23-year-old has not made a halfway cut in eight events this season.
The European Women’s team of Mel Reid and Carlota Ciganda lost to Australia in the quarterfinals.