Golf roundup: Erik van Rooyen closes with eagle for PGA Tour win

AP file photo by Moises Castillo / Erik van Rooyen won the World Wide Technology Championship on Sunday for the second PGA Tour victory of his career.

LOS CABOS, Mexico — Erik van Rooyen made a 16-foot eagle putt on the par-5 closing hole Sunday to win the World Wide Technology Championship, a day after Matt Kuchar squandered a six-stroke lead with a late meltdown.

Playing alongside Kuchar at Tiger Woods-designed El Cardonal at Diamante on the tip of Baja California, van Rooyen played the back nine in 8-under 28 for a closing round of 9-under 63. The 33-year-old South African finished the 72-hole tournament at 27-under 261 for his second PGA Tour victory, two strokes ahead of Kuchar and Colombia's Camilo Villegas.

"Quite numb after that putt went in on 18," van Rooyen said. "You imagine yourself full of euphoria and just being ecstatic, and I was just numb. I think it's because of everything the past six days with my friend Jon (Trasamar) being so sick. I guess just the moment just hasn't hit me yet."

Kuchar and Villegas each shot a 66, with the 45-year-old American parring the final four holes. Tied for the lead on 18, Kuchar — after van Rooyen and Villegas hit fairway-wood second shots near each other on the green — hit his approach left of the green and chipped 20 feet past the hole.

"I'm pretty bummed," Kuchar said. "You come out with a great chance to win a golf tournament — and the goal is to win a golf tournament. But I hold my head held high. Erik played incredible golf."

On Saturday, Kuchar was six strokes ahead at 24 under when he pulled his drive on 15 left into dense bushes and made a quadruple-bogey 8. He then bogeyed the par-3 16th and ended up tied for the lead with Villegas.

"I think I played 71 really good holes," Kuchar said. "It kind of turns out to be the difference; you need to play 72 good holes out here. I had one jump up and get me."

Van Rooyen opened play Sunday with a bogey on the par-5 first and made birdies on Nos. 2 and 6.

"Making a 6 on one left a sour taste in my mouth," said van Rooyen, who won the 2021 Barracuda Championship under the modified Stableford scoring system. "Then you drain a 35-, 40-footer on 2, and it's like, `OK, it's all right. This is a silly game, so just keep playing.'"

In his back-nine charge, he birdied Nos. 10-12, 14, 16 and 17, then closed with the eagle.

"Things just turned on the back nine," van Rooyen said. "Great birdie on 10, almost holed it on 11, beautiful 13-, 14-footer on 12, left-right breaker in the heart and you're off and running. Just hung in there and made some awesome putts on 16, 17 and 18. ... That shot will be with me forever, that 3-wood I hit.

Justin Suh was fourth at 24 under after a 65. Andrew Putnam (62) and Ryan Palmer (64) shared fifth at 22 under.

Chattanooga native Keith Mitchell had the best finish among three Baylor School graduates in the field. Mitchell closed with a 64 and tied for 38th at 15 under, one stroke ahead of fellow former Red Raiders standouts Stephan Jaeger and Luke List, who both shot a 68 and were among those in 45th.

Harrington wins Champions event in runaway

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Padraig Harrington ran away with the TimberTech Championship for his second PGA Tour Champions victory of the year, making birdies on six of the first seven holes in the final round on the way to a seven-stroke triumph.

A shot ahead after opening rounds of 67 and 66 on the Old Course at Broken Sound, Harrington shot a 7-under 64 to finish at 16-under 197 in the second of three Charles Schwab Cup playoff events this fall and the final edition of this tournament in Florida.

"You want to get yourself into to contention, and then when you're there you want to handle the pressure and the nerves," Harrington said. "This is why we do it. This is why I'm still doing it at 52 years of age for days like this."

The Irishman has six career wins on the 50-and-older circuit, including the Dick's Sporting Goods Open this past June. Also a six-time winner on the PGA Tour, including three major championships, he is set to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame next year.

Bernhard Langer, the 66-year-old German star with a tour-record 46 victories, tied for second at 9 under with Charlie Wi, who earned a spot next week in the season-season Charles Schwab Cup Championship and wrapped up a full tour exemption for next year.

Langer, the winner last year at Broken Sound, had a double bogey on 17 on his way to a 70. Wi closed with a bogey-free 64.

"I was so far back everything is a blessing," Wi said.

Ernie Els and Shane Bertsch tied for fourth at 8 under, with each closing with a 70.

The top 36 players in the playoff standings qualified for the season finale in Phoenix and earned full exemptions for next season.

Steve Stricker skipped the tournament. A six-time winner this season, he has wrapped up the Charles Schwab Cup. Langer is second in the standings, and Harrington is third.

Next year, the second playoff event will have a new sponsor and be played in Arkansas.

First LPGA Tour title for Inami

OMITAMA, Japan — Mone Inami won the Japan Classic for her first LPGA Tour title, closing with a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory.

The 24-year-old Inami, playing in her home country, finished the 72-hole event at the Taiheiyo Club at at 22-under 266. She won for the 13th time on the Japanese women's circuit in the co-sanctioned event.

South Korea's Seon Woo Bae (67) and Japan's Shiho Kuwaki (71) tied for second. Kuwaki had a share of the lead after three rounds.