ON THE LINKS | Sunday’s professional golf results
Xander Schauffele ended his rookie season by winning the Tour Championship. Justin Thomas ended the best season with the FedEx Cup. Schauffele, a 23-year-old worried about keeping his PGA Tour card just over three months ago, swirled in a 3-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday for a 2-under 68 to beat Thomas by one shot and become the first rookie to win the Tour Championship. Thomas had plenty of reasons to celebrate his runner-up finish. He capped off a season of five victories and his first major championship by claiming the $10 million bonus. He closed with a 66 after he narrowly missed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th. It was the first time since 2009 that the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup were won by different players.
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF.
Bernhard Langer pulled away with three straight birdies on the back nine at Pebble Beach and cruised to a three-shot victory at the PURE Insurance Championship, his fifth victory of the year and the 34th of his PGA Tour Champions career. The German star had never won at the iconic seaside venue on the Monterey Peninsula. It was also his first win since turning 60 last month. He earned $300,000 to push his season earnings to near $3 million and extend his lead over Scott McCarron on the Charles Schwab Cup money list as he seeks his ninth money title in 10 seasons. Langer closed with a 67 for a three-day total of 198 at the pro-am event, which pairs professionals with junior golfers from the First Tee program and is contested at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills. He and his partner also won the pro-am competition. Jerry Kelly pulled even with Langer by making eagle on the par-5 sixth hole and again with a birdie at the par-3 12th. Langer then took command with birdies on 13, 14 and 15. Kelly closed with six straight pars for a 67 to finish alone in second. Langer’s victories this year include three of the five senior majors. His win total trails only Hale Irwin’s 45.
Nicholas Lindheim made a downhill birdie putt from about 30 feet on the first playoff hole after bogeying the final two holes in regulation and won the DAP Championship on Sunday to regain his PGA Tour card. Lindheim hit every green in regulation on the front nine and held the lead from the third hole on. But he missed his tee shot well left on the par-4 18th at Canterbury Golf Club, punched out and failed to get up and down. He shot a 1-over 71 to join Rob Oppenheim (67) and Chesson Hadley (69) in the playoff. The event was the third of four Web.com Tour Finals events, which determine 25 PGA Tour cards. The series features the top 75 players from the Web.com regular-season money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings and non-members with enough money to place in the top 200 in the FedEx Cup had they been eligible.
The good news for Lindheim was that merely getting into the playoff was enough to earn his PGA Tour card after he finished 197th in the FedEx Cup in his rookie season. Oppenheim also got his card back after finishing just outside the top 25 on the Web.com Tour regular-season money list. Hadley, who won last week in Boise, Idaho, took a commanding lead atop the combined money list from the Web.com Tour regular season and Finals. Hadley earned his PGA Tour card in the regular season, and his performance the last three weeks will give him a better priority ranking when the new season starts next month.
Lucas Bjerregaard secured his first European Tour victory with a four-shot win at the Portugal Masters on Sunday after a 6-under 65 in the final round. The Dane had eight birdies and two bogeys to finish overall on 20-under 264 at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, with Marc Warren of Scotland in second place. Englishmen Graeme Storm (67) and Eddie Pepperell (68) tied for third, five shots behind Bjerregaard. “Today is up there with one of my best rounds,” said the 26-year-old Bjerregaard.