American golf in safe hands
A three-man play-off at yesterday’s Valspar Championship, which involved two of American golf’s brightest talents, showed that the game in the US is coping just fine as Tiger Woods continues his self-enforced lay-off.
Play-off victor Jordan Spieth sunk a 30-foot birdie to clinch the title, while Patrick Reed – Team USA’s star performer at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles – shot a five-under round of 66 on the final day and produced a sensational up and down to prolong his stay in the play-off.
Spieth has risen to a career-high No.6 in the world with the victory and in doing so, became one of only four players since 1940 to win multiple titles on the PGA Tour under the age of 22.
The 21-year-old has also boosted up to No.7 from No.44 in the FedExCup standings, and the win is perfect preparation for the Texan heading into the Masters, where he finished runner-up last year.
Reed meanwhile, has moved up one spot to No.15 in the rankings after narrowly missing out on his second PGA Tour win of the season, following his success at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions back in January.
Check out Reed’s sensational bunker shot from a near-impossible lie:
Confidence booster for O'Hair
With all eyes on Spieth and Reed in yesterday’s play-off, world No.401 heading into the event Sean O’Hair was also in it, and could’ve won it on the second play-off hole had his putt not lipped out.
The 32-year-old, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, has endured a torrid few years and, at one point, had slipped out of the top 500. Since his last tour win at the RBC Canadian Open in July 2011, O’Hair had managed just four top ten finishes in 88 events until yesterday.
His performance at Innisbrook though has lifted the American up to No.188, his highest ranking for nearly two years.
Lee with strong showing at Tshwane Open
Scotland’s Craig Lee ended his three-week stint in South Africa with his best performance for 18 months on the European Tour.
The 37-year-old was one of six golfers in a tie for the lead heading into yesterday’s final round at Pretoria Country Club, but a level par 70, his worst of the tournament, left him in a tie for third place with South African George Coetzee finishing one shot clear of fellow countryman Jacques Blaauw.
Pretswell also in the mix
Pamela Pretswell continued her good form in 2015 with a sixth-placed finish at the World Ladies Championship in China.
The 25-year-old was six-under for the weekend and seven-under overall, six shots behind winner South Korean So Yeon Ryu, who overcame compatriot Inbee Park yesterday with a four-under par round of 69.