Baylor alum Luke List earns ninth top-10 finish on PGA Tour

Baylor alum Luke List earns ninth top-10 finish on PGA Tour

April 16th, 2018 by Associated Press in Sports - Golf

Luke List drives his ball off the fourth tee during the final round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Sunday, April 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Luke List's previous close call at his first PGA Tour victory ended in a playoff loss.

The former Baylor School and Vanderbilt University standout's heartbreak didn't make it quite that far Sunday at the RBC Heritage.

List closed with a 1-over-par 72 at Harbour Town Golf Links and finished at 11-under 273 to share third place with Bryson DeChambeau (66). They came a stroke short of joining a playoff that was won in three holes by 28-year-old Satoshi Kodaira of Japan.

Kodaira closed with a 66 and was tied with South Korea's Si Woo Kim (71) after 72 holes, setting up the sudden-death playoff. On the third extra hole, the par-3 17th, Kodaira rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt to win before punching his fist as he celebrated not only his first PGA Tour win but an invitation to join the circuit as a regular.

"This is a stage I've been dreaming about," Kodaira said through an interpreter. "And having this opportunity to play full-time is a dream come true. So, of course, I will accept full-time membership."

And so ended a drama-filled final round in which Kim, List and Ian Poulter each appeared to have a lock on the title at different points.

Poulter, who dramatically won the Houston Open two weeks ago for his first tour win in more than five years, had six bogeys Sunday after making just two in his first three rounds. The 42-year-old Englishman held a one-stroke lead over Kim and List after the third round, but he closed with a 75 to tie for seventh.

List, who had opened with a 70, made a charge with his second-round 64 and Saturday's 67. In the final round, he had five birdies — including on all three par-5 holes — but made six bogeys, with four in a six-hole stretch from Nos. 11 to 16.

"I didn't feel totally in control of my game, but I was able to keep an excellent attitude," List told the Times Free Press in a phone interview Sunday. "Honestly, that's what kept me in it all week."

In his ninth top-10 finish on the PGA Tour, the 33-year-old Seal Beach, Calif., resident earned $388,600 and 163 FedEx Cup points, moving from 20th to 11th in the standings and just 17 points out of the top 10. He came even closer to his first victory on the top-tier tour in late February at the Honda Classic, losing a one-hole playoff to Justin Thomas.

On Sunday, when starting times were moved up because of bad weather in the forecast, it was Kodaira's relentless grind to the top that won the day — plus $1,206,000 and a tour exemption through the 2019-20 season. With the game he showed, it seems as if he could have more big money and moments ahead such as those enjoyed by countryman Hideki Matsuyama, a five-time winner on the tour.

"I feel like I'm getting closer to that level," said Kodaira, who is ranked 46th in the world and has played in 15 PGA Tour events. "I'd like to do my best in major championships and, hopefully, work hard at it."

The tournament appeared in steady hands with Kim, whose bulldog focus and shot-making held everyone off to win The Players Championship last May. But the 22-year-old faltered over his final nine holes of regulation, making three bogeys to fall into the tie with Kodaira.

Kim had a chance to win in regulation but missed a six-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. Kodaira said that was the most nervous he was during his wait of about an hour before the playoff, but he might have had a few butterflies on the final playoff hole when Kim had a 21-foot birdie try to extend things before coming up short.

Kim thought the increased winds slowed down the greens, making putts more difficult on the final nine holes.

"But I tried my best and the putts didn't drop," Kim said. "It is what it is."

Dustin Johnson finished with his best round of the week, a 67, and tied for 16th, ensuring he will stay at No. 1 in the world for at least the next two weeks.

Two other Baylor grads were also in the field. Harris English (65) tied for 32nd at 5 under, with Keith Mitchell (69) sharing 55th at par.

Rahm wins in Spain

MADRID — Jon Rahm closed with a 5-under 67 to win the Spanish Open as overnight leader Paul Dunne finished second, two strokes behind.

Rahm, fourth in the World Golf Ranking, made six birdies Sunday at Centro Nacional de Golf to finish at 20-under 268 overall. The 23-year-old Spaniard earned his third European Tour win — and his first pro victory in his home country — a week after finishing fourth at the Masters for his first top-1o result in a major championship.

"When I made the decision to come straight from Augusta it wouldn't be to just show up and walk around," said Rahm, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. "I wanted to win this tournament."

Dunne closed with a 71 after entering the final round with a one-shot lead over Nacho Elvira, but three bogeys ruined the Irishman's chance at a second tour win. Elvira, a native of Madrid, also shot a 71 Sunday as he finished third, a stroke behind Dunne and one ahead of George Coetzee (63).

Hawaiian cruise

APOLEI, Hawaii — For the final two days of the Lotte Championship, it was pretty clear the only golfer who could beat Brooke Henderson was Brooke Henderson.

She wasn't about to let it happen Saturday at windy Ko Olina Golf Club, where she won by four shots. The 20-year-old Canadian was too talented, and she had some very important people to play for, dedicating her victory to those involved in the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus crash this month in Saskatchewan.

"It's extremely sad, a terrible tragedy what happened up there," Henderson said. "I know it kind of affected my whole country. Everybody really took it kind of personally.

"For all the survivors that are still fighting through it and all the ones that have passed away, I want to show them that we're here for them and we're supporting them. They're always going to be in our thoughts and prayers."

Henderson won her sixth LPGA Tour title, leaving her just two short of Sandra Post for most wins by a Canadian player.

She collected $300,000, giving her nearly $500,000 this year and $4 million in her three-year career. Her final-round 3-under 69 left her at 12 under, four ahead of Azahara Munoz, whose 67 was the low round in very difficult scoring conditions.

Henderson and sixth-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn (69) were the only others to break 70 on a day of rain squalls and winds gusting to 30 mph. Jutanugarn tied for third, five shots out of the lead, with top-ranked Shanshan Feng (71) and third-ranked Inbee Park (72), who bogeyed the last two holes.

Hawaii's Michelle Wie tied for 11th at 3 under after closing with a 71.


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