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The Shorty: Prime-Time Playa

Patton Kizzire

Playa del Carmen is known for its sunshine, but rain in this renowned Mexican port of call prompted a 36-hole Sunday finish at the PGA Tour’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

Although he didn’t strike a shot Saturday, Patton Kizzire was steadfast Sunday on the way to his first Tour victory, shooting 66-67 at El Camaleon Golf Club to edge Rickie Fowler by a stroke at the wire.

A 31-year-old Alabama native, Kizzire finished second in his first start as a PGA Tour rookie in 2015 and similarly commenced his sophomore campaign with a runner-up result. He followed a closing 64 two Sundays ago in Las Vegas with an opening 62 in Mexico.

In South Africa, Branden Grace turned a so-so season into a memorable one Sunday, shooting a blemish-free 66 and winning the European Tour’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The 29-year-old South African became the first man to shoot 62 in a major at July’s Open Championship, but he entered the Nedbank tournament having posted just three top-10 finishes on the PGA and European tours in 2017 and having dropped from 10th to 44th in the world over the past 14 months.   

The victory was Grace’s eighth on the European Tour and 12th worldwide. With five top-six finishes in majors over the past three years, he remains arguably South Africa’s best current hope to win one.  

In China, Shanshan Feng won the Blue Bay LPGA tournament, becoming the first back-to-back winner on the women’s circuit this season. The victory was projected to move the 28-year-old Chinese player to No. 1 in the world, the first time a golfer from that nation, male or female, will have occupied that lofty perch.




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