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AP photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi / Hideki Matsuyama celebrates after winning the Zozo Championship on Sunday.

CHIBA, Japan — Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama had three birdies in five holes on the back nine and eagled the 18th for good measure and a five-stroke victory at the Zozo Championship on Sunday.

It was the 29-year-old's seventh PGA Tour win but first in his native Japan, although he's only had one previous attempt. In 2019, Tiger Woods won the inaugural Zozo Championship, the first PGA Tour event in Japan, and last year the tournament was moved to California due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Matsuyama closed with a 65 to finish at 15-under 265 at Narashino Country Club. A pair of Americans shared second as Brendan Steele closed with a 66 and Cameron Tringale shot a 69.

Baylor School graduate Luke List (67) tied for seventh at 5 under.

If there was any doubt about Matsuyama wrapping this one up, he shut that down when he hit a three-wood to about 12 feet with his second shot on the par-5 18th and made the eagle putt.

Asked when he thought he had won his home tournament, Matsuyama said through an interpreter: "Probably my second shot at 18, that was probably the clincher."

"It was one of my biggest goals to win in front of the Japanese fans here in this country as well," he added. "So happy that I'll be able to accomplish that. Also, in 2019 Tiger won the Masters and went on to win the Zozo Championship, so I'm glad that I would be able to emulate that as well."

Tringale trailed Matsuyama by two strokes going to the 18th hole, but the Japanese star's eagle and the American's bogey made it a five-shot cushion.

"I needed to kind of take a couple risks and unfortunately it didn't pan out, but I played 16 really good holes, and yeah, that was the day," Tringale said.

 

Ageless wonder Langer triumphs

RICHMOND, Va. — Bernhard Langer became the oldest winner in PGA Tour Champions history, beating Doug Barron with a six-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic on Sunday.

Langer thrust both arms in the air after winning for the 42nd time on the 50-and-older tour but first time since March 2020. At 64 years, 1 month, 27 days, the German senior star broke the record of 63 years, 5 months, 4 days set by Scott Hoch when he teamed with Tom Pernice Jr. to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

"I think it's just encouraging to everybody that's over 50 or 60, we can still perform at a very high level and you should never give up," Langer said. " And of course physical conditioning is one thing. You've got to be mentally tough, you've got to have good technique and nerves and all of rest of it."

Langer extended his streak of senior seasons with a victory to 15 and moved within three wins of matching Hale Irwin as the tour's all-time leader, and he also increased his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup season standings in the playoff opener.

Langer closed with a 3-under-par 69, also making a birdie on the par-5 18th in regulation to match Barron (68) at 14-under 202 on the Country Club of Virginia's James River Course. Barron missed a six-foot birdie try in the playoff before Langer ran in the winner to end a string of five playoff losses.

"This has been a very special win," Langer said. "It's been a long time coming and I've had some very, very close calls, which was in a sense frustrating and disappointing. So when it actually happens and you win, it's exciting."

Said Barron: "He's just an anomaly. He's incredibly, incredibly gifted and he's one of my heroes and good friends. I'm very fortunate to call him a very dear friend. If I'm going to get beat, I don't mind getting beat by him."

Second-round leader Steve Flesch (73) finished third at 12 under.

 

'What a morning' for Winther

SANTA PONSA, Spain — Getting trapped in the bathroom didn't stop Jeff Winther from winning the Mallorca Open for his first European Tour victory.

The 33-year-old from Denmark closed with a par round of 70 to finish at 15-under 265 and triumph by a stroke on the Mediterranean island's Santa Ponsa course.

Spaniards Jorge Campillo (69) and Pep Angles (67) and Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg (68) tied for second.

Winther, the 54-hole leader, overcame more than windy conditions to win the title. He also needed his daughter to help out when he and his wife got locked in the bathroom Sunday morning.

"Our little girl Nora, 6 years old, had to go and find guys at reception to break down the door," said Winther. "We were in there for 45 minutes, I think. I thought, 'Jeez, not today, not Sunday, you're leading the freaking event. Might not get there for your tee time.' What a morning."

 

South Korean milestone

BUSAN, South Korea — Jin Young Ko closed with an 8-under 64 and birdied the first playoff hole to beat Hee Jeong Lim and win the BMW Ladies Championship, the 200th victory on the LPGA Tour by a South Korean player.

Ko won for the second straight time and third in her past five starts. The LPGA Tour said she is projected to return to No. 1 in the world over Nelly Korda, who did not play.

Lim led by four strokes going into the final round and shot a 68 to join Ko at 22-under 266.

Four players were tied for third and four strokes behind.

Jin Young Ko now has four victories this year — the second time in three years she has had four-win seasons on the LPGA Tour — and moved to the top of the Race to CME Globe standings with two tournaments remaining on the schedule.

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