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American Reed withdraws from Turkish Open

(Reuters) – World number eight Patrick Reed became the latest high-profile player to withdraw from this week’s $7 million Turkish Airlines Golf Open, organizers said on Monday.

Four-times major winner Rory McIlroy pulled out of the first event on the European tour’s three-tournament, season-ending Final Series, due to be held in Antalya from Nov. 3-6, over the weekend.

American Reed, who was part of the victorious Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine this month, finished tied for 60th in last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions tournament.

Earlier this month, the Turkish Open was thrown into doubt after the European Tour said it was investigating media reports of rocket attacks in Antalya.

McIlroy, who climbed to second in the word rankings after his tied-fourth placed finish in Shanghai on Sunday, is trailing Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett in the Race to Dubai standings.

U.S. Masters champion and world number 10 Willett is scheduled to play in Turkey.

“I think it’s obvious,” McIlroy told reporters.

“The fact I’ve won the FedEx Cup this year and won the Race to Dubai before made the decision a little easier. I guess it’s out of my hands,” he added.

“I took the decision not to go to Turkey next week. Those boys can battle it out. If I have somewhat of a chance going into Dubai, that’s great. If not, they’ve had big wins over the course of the season. They’ve played well, two major championships. I’m OK with that.”

(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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American Reed withdraws from Turkish Open

Golf-American Reed withdraws from Turkish Open

Oct 31 (Reuters) – World number eight Patrick Reed became the latest high-profile player to withdraw from this week’s $7 million Turkish Airlines Golf Open, organisers said on Monday.

Four-times major winner Rory McIlroy pulled out of the first event on the European tour’s three-tournament, season-ending Final Series, due to be held in Antalya from Nov. 3-6, over the weekend.

American Reed, who was part of the victorious Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine this month, finished tied for 60th in last week’s WGC-HSBC Champions tournament.

Earlier this month, the Turkish Open was thrown into doubt after the European Tour said it was investigating media reports of rocket attacks in Antalya.

McIlroy, who climbed to second in the word rankings after his tied-fourth placed finish in Shanghai on Sunday, is trailing Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett in the Race to Dubai standings.

U.S. Masters champion and world number 10 Willett is scheduled to play in Turkey.

“I think it’s obvious,” McIlroy told reporters.

“The fact I’ve won the FedEx Cup this year and won the Race to Dubai before made the decision a little easier. I guess it’s out of my hands,” he added.

“I took the decision not to go to Turkey next week. Those boys can battle it out. If I have somewhat of a chance going into Dubai, that’s great. If not, they’ve had big wins over the course of the season. They’ve played well, two major championships. I’m OK with that.”

(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Golf-American Reed withdraws from Turkish Open

Now for a major, says Japan’s golf sensation Matsuyama

Shanghai (AFP) – Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama set his sights firmly on winning a major after destroying a world-class field to become the first Asian to win a World Golf Championship at the weekend.

“Winning today, I feel has got me closer to being able to compete a lot better in the major tournaments,” said the 24-year-old sensation after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in record-breaking style.

Matsuyama finished on 23 under par to win by seven shots — the biggest margin in the history of the event dubbed “Asia’s Major” — from Henrik Stenson and Daniel Berger, with Rory McIlroy and Bill Haas one shot further back.

“My next goal is, of course, to win a major. I’m going to do all that I can to prepare well for that,” added the quietly spoken Matsuyama.

YE Yang is the only Asian man to have won a major — the 2009 US PGA Championship.

Matsuyama, with two wins a second in his last three starts, rose to a career high sixth in the world in the new rankings released Monday.

– ‘Great honour’ –

His victory in Shanghai means he already leads the 2017 US PGA Tour FedEx Cup points standings.

The WGC-HSBC Champions was his 10th victory and his third on the PGA Tour since turning professional in August 2013, equalling Shigeki Maruyama’s record for the most PGA Tour wins in history by a Japanese player.

“Shigeki Maruyama is a good friend of mine, and he always said that I was going to pass his records,” said Matsuyama.

“But at least I’ve tied him now. That was a great honour, because I have great respect for him.”

Matsuyama made it look ridiculously easy at Sheshan International Golf Club against a field that contained all four current major champions, 10 major champions in all, eight of the world’s top 10 and 40 of the world’s top 50.

None could live with the Japanese whose worst round of the week in testing conditions was a four-under par 68 as he racked up 29 birdies, three shy of the all-time PGA Tour record, and his last 45 holes without recording a bogey.

“Hideki played just unbelievable and it was a pleasure to watch,” said Berger. “You can learn a lot from watching him at work.”

British Open champion and Olympic silver medallist Stenson paid tribute.

“He showed everyone how he could keep his foot on the pedal. It was an impressive runaway win,” said the Swede who has moved above Jordan Spieth to world number four.

– ‘Owe it all to my parents’ –

Matsuyama has collected a staggering $2,376,000 in prize money in an eight-day whirl after second place in Kuala Lumpur and the Shanghai win, but said Sunday all he wanted to do was ring his parents back home in Japan. “I owe it all to them.”

“They have done so much for me and I’m so grateful for them. They are the ones I want to be able to call first and tell them I won.”

Last week he became the first Japanese player to reach the world’s top 10 since Jumbo Ozaki in April 1998 and has moved ahead of major winners such as Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Danny Willett in the new rankings released Monday.

His rise comes as little surprise, as Matsuyama has been a prolific winner from an early age when he was known in amateur circles as the “boy with the strong heart”.

He qualified for the US Masters twice by winning two Asian Amateur championships in 2010 and 2011.

At 19, he won the silver medal for leading amateur at the 2011 Masters and was also ranked number one world amateur.

He won only his second event as a pro in 2013 and a year later won his first US PGA Tour title at the Memorial Tournament in a play-off against Kevin Na.

He was handed the trophy by tournament host and golf legend Jack Nicklaus. “It was like a dream come true,” Matsuyama recalled.

Nicklaus was impressed with the then 22-year-old. “This young man’s going to win a lot of tournaments,” he said.

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Now for a major, says Japan’s golf sensation Matsuyama

Rookie Gribble wins Sanderson Farms Championship

(Reuters) – PGA Tour rookie Cody Gribble blew away the field with a closing seven-under 65 to win the Sanderson Farms Championship by four strokes in Mississippi on Sunday.

Gribble, in his eighth start on tour, bolted clear of a tight leaderboard with a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th hole at the Country Club of Jackson.

The left-handed Texan finished at 20-under 268, with compatriots Chris Kirk (70) and Luke List (70) and Englishman Greg Owen (68) equal second on 16-under.

Gribble, 26, barely earned his card to play on the PGA Tour this season, after finishing 40th on the secondary tour ranking.

“It was pretty rough towards the end of the year … but here I am,” he said in an emotional greenside interview.

“There are no words right now. It’s an unbelievable experience.”

The low-key tournament, played on the same dates as the WGC HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, gave the tour’s lesser lights a chance to shine in the absence of the big boys.

Canadian Graham DeLaet, in his 150th career start, looked prime to post his first tour win when he picked up three front nine birdies.

But a double bogey at the par-five 11th set him back and he eventually finished seven strokes off the pace, equal eighth.

Kiwi Steven Alker had the shot of the day, a hole-in-one with his very first swing.

Teeing off at the 10th hole, Alker made his ace with a five-iron from 212 yards. He finished equal 35th.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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Rookie Gribble wins Sanderson Farms Championship

Golf-Rookie Gribble wins Sanderson Farms Championship

Oct 30 (Reuters) – PGA Tour rookie Cody Gribble blew away the field with a closing seven-under 65 to win the Sanderson Farms Championship by four strokes in Mississippi on Sunday.

Gribble, in his eighth start on tour, bolted clear of a tight leaderboard with a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th hole at the Country Club of Jackson.

The left-handed Texan finished at 20-under 268, with compatriots Chris Kirk (70) and Luke List (70) and Englishman Greg Owen (68) equal second on 16-under.

Gribble, 26, barely earned his card to play on the PGA Tour this season, after finishing 40th on the secondary tour ranking.

“It was pretty rough towards the end of the year … but here I am,” he said in an emotional greenside interview.

“There are no words right now. It’s an unbelievable experience.”

The low-key tournament, played on the same dates as the WGC HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, gave the tour’s lesser lights a chance to shine in the absence of the big boys.

Canadian Graham DeLaet, in his 150th career start, looked prime to post his first tour win when he picked up three front nine birdies.

But a double bogey at the par-five 11th set him back and he eventually finished seven strokes off the pace, equal eighth.

Kiwi Steven Alker had the shot of the day, a hole-in-one with his very first swing.

Teeing off at the 10th hole, Alker made his ace with a five-iron from 212 yards. He finished equal 35th.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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Golf-Rookie Gribble wins Sanderson Farms Championship

Gribble grabs first US PGA Tour title in Mississippi

Los Angeles (AFP) – Rookie Cody Gribble lifted his first US PGA Tour title Sunday with a storming finish in the Sanderson Farms Championship.

The 26-year-old Gribble, making his eighth US PGA Tour start and his second as a tour member, fired a bogey-free seven-under par 65 at the Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi to notch a four-stroke victory on 20-under par 268.

England’s Greg Owen and Americans Luke List and Chris Kirk shared second on 272.

Owen fired a 68 while List and Kirk — the highest-ranked player in the field at 76th in the world — both carded 70 after sharing the overnight lead one stroke in front of Gribble, Canadian Graham DeLaet and former US Open champion Lucas Glover.

“There’s no words right now,” said Gribble, who birdied five of his last eight holes.

That included three birdies on the trot at the 15th, 16th and 17th.

Gribble was a teammate of Jordan Spieth on the University of Texas team that won the national collegiate championship in 2012.

Spieth, three years younger, turned pro during his second year at University in 2013 and two years later won the Masters and the US Open on his precocious rise to number one in the world.

Gribble has followed a more meandering path. He missed four straight cuts on the Web.com tour last season before a top five finish saw him secure his US PGA Tour membership.

“It’s an unbelievable experience,” he said.

The week’s tournament was an ideal opportunity for rookies and lesser lights of the tour to shine, with the top players in the world competing at the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai won by Hideki Matsuyama.

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Gribble grabs first US PGA Tour title in Mississippi

Matsuyama cruises to maiden WGC title in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama has set his sights on winning his first major after cruising to his maiden World Golf Championship title with a dominant seven-shot victory at the $9.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions on Sunday.

Matsuyama, who won the Japan Open earlier this month, began the day with a three-shot cushion and carded a six-under-par 66 in the final round to finish on 23-under for the tournament.

“Winning today, I feel has got me closer to being able to compete a lot better in the major tournaments,” said the 24-year-old, the first Asian to win an individual WGC title.

“My next goal is to win a major and I’m going to do all that I can to prepare well for that.”

British Open champion Henrik Stenson hit a final round 65 to share second place with American Daniel Berger (69), good enough to take the Swede past U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett at the top of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings.

World number three Rory McIlroy remains third in the standings behind Willett after shooting a final round 66 to finish in a share of fourth with American Bill Haas (69) on 15-under.

Matsuyama chalked up in his second error-free round of the tournament on Sunday, starting the day with a birdie before picking up shots on the fifth and seventh holes.

He made three birdies in a row on the back nine, getting the first of them with a 30-foot putt on the 13th, and managed to avoid a bogey on the signature par-five final hole despite landing in the water.

The youngest player to win the HSBC Champions, which is co-sanctioned by all the major tours, Matsuyama is also the first Japanese to win a European Tour event since Isao Aoki in 1983.

Stenson also turned in a flawless round, picking up seven birdies, including one with a clutch putt from the fringe at the last, as he tied for the day’s low score with Britain’s Matthew Fitzpatrick.

“It was a sweet putt to make on the last. I probably felt like I was playing better on the front nine yesterday than what I did today, but today I kept it going all the way to the end,” Stenson said.

“There was not a bogey on the scorecard. So nice way to finish with a bogey-free 65.”

McIlroy, who also picked up seven birdies, was unfortunate not to tie with Stenson and Fitzpatrick on 65 for the day after seeing his birdie attempt on the 18th lip out.

“I think Hideki has played much superior golf than the rest of the field this week. You know, he’s going to be a deserved champion, that’s for sure,” said McIlroy.

“It’s been a decent week. Obviously there’s a couple good scores in there mixed in with a couple of ones that I would like to take back. But you know, overall, the week’s been pretty good.”

Willett finished a disappointing week at the Sheshan International Golf Club with a 75 to end the tournament on 14-over.

Italy’s former champion Francesco Molinari (70) shared sixth on 14-under with Ross Fisher (68) and American Rickie Fowler (68). Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who won at Sheshan in 2008, and last year’s winner Russell Knox tied for ninth two shots further back.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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Matsuyama cruises to maiden WGC title in Shanghai

Golf-Matsuyama cruises to maiden WGC title in Shanghai

* 24-year-old is youngest winner of WGC-HSBC Champions

* Becomes first Japanese to win individual WGC event

* Sweden’s Stenson new Race to Dubai frontrunner (Add quotes, detail)

SHANGHAI, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama has set his sights on winning his first major after cruising to his maiden World Golf Championship title with a dominant seven-shot victory at the $9.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions on Sunday.

Matsuyama, who won the Japan Open earlier this month, began the day with a three-shot cushion and carded a six-under-par 66 in the final round to finish on 23-under for the tournament.

“Winning today, I feel has got me closer to being able to compete a lot better in the major tournaments,” said the 24-year-old, the first Asian to win an individual WGC title.

“My next goal is to win a major and I’m going to do all that I can to prepare well for that.”

British Open champion Henrik Stenson hit a final round 65 to share second place with American Daniel Berger (69), good enough to take the Swede past U.S. Masters champion Danny Willett at the top of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai standings.

World number three Rory McIlroy remains third in the standings behind Willett after shooting a final round 66 to finish in a share of fourth with American Bill Haas (69) on 15-under.

Matsuyama chalked up in his second error-free round of the tournament on Sunday, starting the day with a birdie before picking up shots on the fifth and seventh holes.

He made three birdies in a row on the back nine, getting the first of them with a 30-foot putt on the 13th, and managed to avoid a bogey on the signature par-five final hole despite landing in the water.

The youngest player to win the HSBC Champions, which is co-sanctioned by all the major tours, Matsuyama is also the first Japanese to win a European Tour event since Isao Aoki in 1983.

Stenson also turned in a flawless round, picking up seven birdies, including one with a clutch putt from the fringe at the last, as he tied for the day’s low score with Britain’s Matthew Fitzpatrick.

“It was a sweet putt to make on the last. I probably felt like I was playing better on the front nine yesterday than what I did today, but today I kept it going all the way to the end,” Stenson said.

“There was not a bogey on the scorecard. So nice way to finish with a bogey-free 65.”

McIlroy, who also picked up seven birdies, was unfortunate not to tie with Stenson and Fitzpatrick on 65 for the day after seeing his birdie attempt on the 18th lip out.

“I think Hideki has played much superior golf than the rest of the field this week. You know, he’s going to be a deserved champion, that’s for sure,” said McIlroy.

“It’s been a decent week. Obviously there’s a couple good scores in there mixed in with a couple of ones that I would like to take back. But you know, overall, the week’s been pretty good.”

Willett finished a disappointing week at the Sheshan International Golf Club with a 75 to end the tournament on 14-over.

Italy’s former champion Francesco Molinari (70) shared sixth on 14-under with Ross Fisher (68) and American Rickie Fowler (68). Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who won at Sheshan in 2008, and last year’s winner Russell Knox tied for ninth two shots further back. (Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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Golf-Matsuyama cruises to maiden WGC title in Shanghai

Matsuyama storms to WGC victory and history in Shanghai

Dominant Hideki Matsuyama made history Sunday when he became the first player from Asia to win a World Golf Championships.

The 24-year-old from Japan left a world-class field, including Rory McIlroy and all four 2016 major winners, trailing in his wake as he finished seven strokes clear at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

The 24-year-old Japanese player also became the first from the continent to win “Asia’s Major” and he did it in style with a flawless final round of six-under par 66.

Matsuyama was just one shot shy of the record 72-hole score at Sheshan International Golf Club of 24-under par set by current US Open champion Dustin Johnson three years ago.

Matsuyama finished at 23-under par after four stunning rounds of 66, 65, 68 and 66 at the par-72 layout. British Open champions Henrik Stenson and Daniel Berger of the US were tied for second way back at 16-under par.

World number three Rory McIlroy on Sunday carded his second 66 of the week for yet another top-five finish as he shared fourth place on 15-under par with Bill Haas.

Matsuyama, whose total of 29 birdies for the week was just three short of the all-time US PGA Tour record of 32, remarkably did not card a bogey after the ninth hole of his second round on Friday.

The in-form player is set to rise to as high as number six in the world following his victory for which he wins $1.62 million.

It caps a remarkable run in which Matsuyama has won the Japan Open, finished runner-up in the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic in Malaysia and won the WGC-HSBC Champions in consecutive weeks.

– Flying start –

Matsuyama settled any nerves straight away with a birdie at the first to open a four-shot cushion over defending champion Russell Knox, who eventually fell away with a two-over 74.

“I was really nervous at the start of the day, but I was able to birdie hole number one,” said Matsuyama.

“That kind of got myself into the rhythm of the day, and after that, it was smooth sailing.”

The relentless Matsuyama holed a crucial par putt at the fourth and stood on the eighth tee four shots clear of his two playing partners Knox and Daniel Berger of the US.

The young Japanese found thick rough off the tee and then carved a terrible second into more trouble.

With Berger on the green in three it looked as if his lead would be cut to two shots.

But Matsuyama controlled his fourth shot pitch from more rough to 10 feet and then calmly rolled in to save par and stay four strokes up after Berger missed his 25-foot birdie attempt.

“Number eight was a very important hole for me,” Matsuyama said. “I didn’t hit a very good second shot. But I was able to knock it on and make my par putt. From then on, the round became a lot easier.”

Knox had a bogey on eight for the first time in 23 holes and followed with two more dropped shots around the turn as his round began to unravel.

Berger bogeyed 11 and Matsuyama, who had not had a bogey since the ninth on Friday, rattled home a 30-foot putt for his 27th birdie of the week on the 13th to stand six clear on 21-under.

Seven clear going up the last, Matsuyama had one final wobble.

Going for the green in two because, he said, “I wanted to make 30 birdies in the week” he carved his second into water.

But he dropped and calmly got up and down to record a par five and his 45th hole in a row without a bogey.

Taken from – 

Matsuyama storms to WGC victory and history in Shanghai

Feng wins LPGA Malaysia title as Ko fizzles out

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – China’s Feng Shanshan won her second Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia title in three years as a final-round charge from world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand fizzled out on Sunday.

Feng, who won in 2014, had stormed into the lead with a seven-under par 64 in a rain-interrupted third round that forced her and several others to wait until early Sunday to finish up.

She then started the final round with a bogey on the first hole but regained her footing to finish at 17-under for a three-stroke win over Norway’s Suzann Pettersen at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

With the win, the ebullient Feng ended a two-year title drought.

“It’s really good, especially in the last four years where I finished second, first, second, first here,” she said.

“Even though I only improved one spot, I think I’ve had a fantastic week coming back here. Makes me feel like I’m at home.”

“I really love this golf course. And actually can we have like ten LPGA events here on this course?”

Feng had finished in the top five in her four previous tournaments leading up to the event.

Ko struggled early in the tournament but jumped into contention after shooting 65 on Saturday.

She made a run on Sunday with three birdies on the front nine but her hopes evaporated when she double-bogeyed 15, and later bogeyed the final hole to finish at eight-under with a closing even-par 71.

Ko, 19, hasn’t won since the Marathon Classic in July.

“I think there’s still a lot of positives out there,” said Ko, who used a Malaysian caddie for the tournament after parting ways with her Australian bagman Jason Hamilton earlier this month.

Feng pockets a $270,000 prize for the tournament.

Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and South Korea’s Amy Yang ended up tied for third at 12-under par.

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Feng wins LPGA Malaysia title as Ko fizzles out

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