Brendan Steele figured out how to finish at Silverado and won the Safeway Open for his first PGA Tour victory in more than five years.
One year after losing a 54-hole lead with a 40 on the back nine, Steele rallied from a four-shot deficit on a rain-soaked course and closed with three straight birdies for a 7-under 65, giving him a one-shot victory over a faltering Patton Kizzire.
“This is a little bit of redemption from last year,” Steele said. “It’s nice to close it off this way.”
It was a tough ending for Kizzire, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round and looked like a winner when he stuffed his tee shot into two feet for birdie on the 11th hole for a two-shot lead. He struggled to hit fairways, and still managed to drop only one shot on the 12th. He just couldn’t keep Steele from gaining ground.
Steele holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 17th to tie for the lead, though Kizzire still had three scoring holes remaining — two par-five holes and a wedge into a par four.
Kizzire drove left into the base of trees on the par-five 16th and had to chip out sideways, eventually making a 15-foot par save from the bunker. With a wedge on the 17th, he left it short and watched it spin back off the green, forcing him to save par again.
His final chance was a birdie on the par-five 18th. He drove left again, had to lay up and then missed the green with a nine-iron and failed to chip in. Kizzire closed with a 70.
Johnson Wagner stayed close to Kizzire the entire back nine but had to settle for pars over the final eight holes. He closed with a 70 and tied for third with Paul Casey (69), former Cal star Michael Kim (67) and Scott Piercy (70).
Casey has finished no worse than fourth in his last four tournaments dating to the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Steele, who finished at 18-under 270, won for the first time in 141 starts on the PGA Tour dating to the Texas Open in his rookie season. And it was his first victory since the anchored stroke for long putters was outlawed at the start of the year.
“Making that transition has been a little tough,” Steele said.
Ciganda beats Lee to win LPGA event
Carlota Ciganda overcame an early five-stroke deficit, blew a late five-stroke lead and needed a big break to get in a playoff in the rainy LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.
The 26-year-old Spaniard then left Alison Lee in tears, beating the American on the first extra hole for her first LPGA Tour title. Ciganda made a six-foot birdie putt after Lee’s birdie chip from the rough off the back edge missed a half-inch to the right.
“I was just trying to stay in the present and hit as best I could,” Ciganda said. “In the end, it was so close. I think I was the lucky one today and I’m very happy.”
Ciganda lost a five-stroke advantage on the final five holes — getting into the playoff when Lee bogeyed the par-five 18th after hitting her third shot into the water.
“The last three, four holes I was pretty nervous,” said Ciganda, who played in the group ahead of Lee. “I was looking more and I was one up, and then I was on 18 I saw I was one down and I couldn’t believe it. So it’s just golf. Only one can win.”
Lee declined to speak the media.
Final round of Safeway Open resumes after delay
Patton Kizzire holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish off a 6-under 66 and take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Safeway Open. The third round wasn’t finished until Sunday morning because of rain that has soaked Silverado in Napa.
Not long after the final round began there was a two-hour delay because of rain.
Johnson Wagner, who left Saturday night with a one-shot lead with three holes to play, drove into a bunker on the 17th hole, left it short of the green and then chunked a wedge into the front bunker, leading to double bogey. He finished with a birdie for a 70 and was one shot behind, along with Scott Piercy (73).
Kizzire was at 15-under 201, his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. Paul Casey (71) and Martin Laird (68) were two shots behind.
Garwood gets first Champions Tour victory
Doug Garwood ran away with the SAS Championship for his first PGA Tour Champions title, closing with an eight-under 64 for a four-stroke victory.
The 53-year-old Garwood won in his 44th start on the 50-and-over tour. He finished at 16-under 200 in the regular-season finale at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C.
Bernhard Langer, two strokes ahead of Garwood and Larry Mize entering the day, had a 70 to finish second.
Garwood birdied the last three holes on the front nine for a six-under 30, made it four in a row on the par-four 10th, added birdies on the par-five 13th and 16th and closed with a bogey.
Mize shot a 69 to tie for third with Tom Byrum (65) and Jeff Sluman (68) at 11 under.
The top 72 players on the money list earned spots in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener, the PowerShares QQQ Championship at Sherwood in California on Oct. 28-30.
Noren captures title at British Masters
Alex Noren of Sweden held his nerve in the final round of the British Masters in Waterford, England, to claim a third European Tour title in his last eight tournaments.
Noren carded a final round of 69 at The Grove to finish on 18-under 266, two shots ahead of Bernd Wiesberger (67), with Lee Westwood (67) a shot further back in third.
A more comfortable victory had looked on the cards when Noren led by four shots after seven holes, only for the 26th-ranked player to bogey the seventh as playing partner Richard Bland holed from 50 feet for birdie.
Noren’s lead was down to a single shot when he bogeyed the 11th and he did superbly to save par on the next — thanks to a brilliant recovery shot from the trees.
Wiesberger of Austria briefly joined Noren at the top of the leaderboard with a birdie on the par-five 15th, only for Noren to do likewise from a near-identical position in the group behind.
Tangkamolprasert wins Macau Open in a playoff
Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand won the Macau Open, prevailing over India’s Anirban Lahiri in a playoff.
Pavit birdied the final hole of regulation for a seven-under 64 to finish tied with Lahiri (65) at 16-under 268 at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
The 27-year-old Thai then sealed the win with another birdie on the par-five 18th after Lahiri found the water hazard with his second shot and finished with a bogey.
Taiwan’s Chan Shih-chang shot a 65 to finish tied for third with co-overnight leader Chikkarangappa S. of India, who had a 68. Both finished three shots off the pace. Ian Poulter, who led after the first round, finished tied for 28th after a 73.