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Stephan Jaeger denies Scottie Scheffler a third straight PGA Tour win – best2daynews

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HOUSTON — Stephan Jaeger won his first PGA Tour event in his 135th attempt, closing with nine straight pars for a 3-under 67 and avoiding a playoff when Scottie Scheffler missed a five-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday in the Houston Open.

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Scheffler was trying to become the first player in seven years to win three straight starts on the PGA Tour, and he was right there with a chance. He two-putted for birdie from 20 feet on the par-5 16th and missed from 12 feet for birdie on the 17th.

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His five-foot birdie putt to force a playoff missed to the left, and Scheffler had to settle for a 68 and a runner-up finish.

Jaeger, a 34-year-old German who came to high school in Tennessee when he was 16, earned his first trip to the Masters with the victory. He also is in the remaining four $20-million signature events this season.

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LPGA TOUR

GILBERT, Ariz. — Top-ranked Nelly Korda became the first LPGA Tour player in eight years to win three straight starts, closing with a 7-under 65 on a soggy Sunday for a two-shot victory in the Ford Championship.

Korda won the Drive On Championship in her hometown of Bradenton, Fla., before sitting out all of the LPGA’s Asian swing. She returned and won the Fir Hill Seri Pak Championship in a playoff last week in California to move back to No. 1 in the women’s world ranking.

She started the final round two shots behind and took the lead by nearly holing her approach on the par-4 16th. She finished with a short birdie to reach 20-under 268 for her 12th career LPGA title.

Australian rookie Hira Naveed shot 66 and finished alone in second.

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Lexi Thompson, winless in nearly five years, was tied for the lead until hitting into the water on the 16th and making bogey. She had a 68 and finished in a five-way tie for third.

EUROPEAN TOUR

NEW DELHI — Keita Nakajima of Japan chose to focus on the European tour instead of a smaller American circuit and made the decision pay off Sunday when he closed with a 1-over 73 to win the Hero Indian Open.

Nakajima had a two-shot lead to start the final round at DLF Golf and Country Club and made four birdies in the opening eight holes. That stretched his lead to nine shots, and then it was only a matter of finishing. He shot 40 on the back nine and still won by four for his first European tour title. He finished at 17-under 271.

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Nakajima, whose 87 weeks as No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking are more than anyone else, won for the fourth time in the last 10 months. The other three were on the Japan Golf Tour last year and enabled him to win the Order of Merit, giving him a European tour card and status on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Veer Ahlawat of India (71), Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden (67) and American Johannes Veerman (67) tied for second.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Retief Goosen hit into the water on the par-5 18th hole and saved par to win The Galleri Classic on Sunday with a 3-under 69 and with plenty of help from the blunders of Steven Alker.

Goosen and Alker were tied for the lead going to the final hole at Mission Hills. Goosen was on the edge of a bunker and hit a four-iron so thin that it splashed twice in the water that surrounds the 18th green on the Dinah Shore Tournament course.

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Instead of laying up, Alker also chose to go for the green. His five-iron narrowly cleared the pond, but bounced back into the water. He pitched onto the green and missed his par putt.

Goosen took his penalty drop, hit wedge to eight feet and rolled in the par putt for a one-shot victory that he never saw coming. It was his third career win on the PGA Tour Champions.

OTHER TOURS

Takumi Kanaya closed with a 6-under 65 and started the Japan Golf Tour season off with a victory, winning by two shots over Tatsunori Shogenji. … Mariajo Uribe of Colombia won the New South Wales Women’s Open with a 2-under 70 to beat Bronte Law by one shot on the Ladies European Tour. … Jose de Jesus Rodriguez of Mexico closed with a 1-under 70 for a one-shot victory over Jesus Montenegro in the Totalplay Championship in Mexico on the PGA Tour Americas … Sakura Koiwai rallied to win the Yamaha Ladies Open Katsuragi with a 5-under 67 to win by one shot over Chisato Iwai and Rio Takeda on the Japan LPGA.

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