Friday, May 25, 2018
Golf

Smylie Kaufman wins Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in fifth PGA start

LAS VEGAS — Smylie Kaufman won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on Sunday in his fifth PGA Tour start, shooting 10-under 61 and waiting more than two hours while rival after rival fell short.

Kaufman played the final 11 holes in 9 under with eagle and seven birdies. He set up the eagle with a 3-wood drive to 15 feet on the par-4 15th and closed with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th to post 16-under 268 at TPC Summerlin.

Kevin Na, third-round leader Brett Stegmaier, Patton Kizzire, Cameron Tringale, Jason Bohn and Alex Cejka tied for second, a stroke back.

Na, coming off playoff loss last week to Emiliano Grillo in the season-opening event in Napa, Calif., made a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th to tie for the lead but bogeyed the par-3 17th after flubbing a chip and missed a 15-foot birdie try on 18.

Stegmaier had the last chance to force a playoff but hit his approach on 18 into the left fringe and came up short on a 20-foot birdie try.

Kaufman, 23, became the second straight rookie winner on the tour, earning $1,152,000 and a spot in the Masters. The former LSU player from Birmingham, Ala., began the year with no tour status, won a Web.com Tour event in May and earned a PGA Tour card with a high finish on the money list.

LPGA: Lydia Ko ran away with the LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taipei to regain the No. 1 spot in the world ranking. The New Zealander, 18, holed a 30-yard pitch for eagle on the par-5 12th and shot 7-under 65 for the round in sunny, breezy conditions at Miramar for a nine-stroke victory. Ko finished at 20-under 268 overall. Ko took the top spot in the world from South Korea's Inbee Park with her fifth victory of the season and the 10th of her career.

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