NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Sei Young Kim made the putt of her life, a 25-foot birdie on the final hole of the CME Group Tour Championship to win $1.5 million, the richest prize in the history of women’s golf.
Kim closed with a 2-under 70 to beat an unlikely foe Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.
Charley Hull of England birdied her last three holes for a 66, the last one a 12-footer that gave her a tie for the lead. Kim, who looked shaky in missing three straight birdie chances from 12 feet, tugged her 6-iron to the top of a crown at the bag of the green. The winning putt — the money putt — was hit with perfect pace and broke sharply to the right and into the cup as Kim pumped her fists in disbelief.
She finished a wire-to-wire victory for her third LPGA Tour title of the year and 10th of her career.
This was memorable for the finish and the reward.
Instead of a $500,000 first-place check and a $1 million bonus to a season points race, CME Globe wanted to award $1.5 million in official money to any of the 60 players who qualified for the season finale. That’s $500,000 more than the previous record prize, $1 million at the U.S. Women’s Open.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Jon Rahm is $5 million richer after capturing the Race to Dubai title on the European Tour by winning the season-ending World Tour Championship with a birdie on the final hole.
Rahm, who goes to No. 3 in the world with the victory, got up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the 18th hole to win the tournament by a stroke from Tommy Fleetwood, who also would have become European No. 1 with a win on the Earth Course.
Rahm, who started the final round tied for the lead with Mike Lorenzo-Vera, led by six shots after birdies on five of the opening seven holes.
However, Fleetwood — playing one group ahead — birdied five of his last seven holes, with his tap-in birdie at No. 18 giving him a 7-under 65 and tying for the lead as the Spaniard was putting on the 17th green.
Rahm’s birdie putt came up just short, so he needed a birdie on the par-5 closing hole for the win. His drive was perfect, his approach found the bunker, but he chipped out to 4 feet and rolled in the putt for a 68 as Fleetwood watched in the scorer’s tent.
Rahm, who finished 19 under par overall, earned $3 million for winning the event, and a bonus of $2 million for winning the Race to Dubai.
Rahm is only the second Spaniard to finish a season as European Tour’s No. 1 player, after the late Seve Ballesteros.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Tyler Duncan made a 12-foot putt on the second hole of a playoff with Webb Simpson on Sunday in the RSM Classic for his first PGA Tour title.
Playing two groups ahead of Simpson on Sea Island’s Seaside Course, Duncan birdied three of the last four holes in regulation for a 5-under 65. He two-putted the par-5 15th for a birdie, made a 6-footer on the par-3 17th and a 25-footer on the par-4 18th.
Simpson birdied 15 and 16 and closed with two pars, making a 5-footer on 18 for a 67 to match Duncan at 19-under 263. They played the 18th twice in the playoff, matching pars on the first extra hole.
The 30-year-old Duncan regained his PGA Tour card with a 12th-place finish in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals after finishing 163rd in the FedEx Cup standings. He shot a 61 on Friday.
Sebastian Munoz was a stroke back after a 68.
Brendon Todd, seeking his third straight PGA Tour victory, was fourth at 16 under after a 72. He took a two-stroke lead into the final round.
The victory sends Duncan to the Masters for the first time, along with the PGA Championship. Until this year, he had played in only two majors.
Shugo Imahira took a big step toward winning the Order of Merit on the Japan Golf Tour when he won the rain-shortened Dunlop Phoenix. Imahira had a two-shot lead when the final round was canceled by storms. It was his second win this year, both shortened by weather. His other victory was 36 holes because of a typhoon. … Women’s British Open champion Hinako Shibuno closed with a 6-under 66 for a one-shot victory over Ai Suzuki in the Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open, denying Suzuki a fourth straight victory on the Japan LPGA. … Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand closed with a 6-under 65 and won the Sabah Masters in a four-man playoff for his second career title on the Asian Tour.