DUBLIN, Ohio — Billy Horschel had a five-shot lead and a good game plan for the Memorial Tournament that he had learned by watching event host Jack Nicklaus and five-time winner Tiger Woods.
There was no need to try anything special on a course playing as tough as Muirfield Village.
And then the situation called for something special, and Horschel delivered.
With his lead down to two shots, Horschel produced a signature moment of his own Sunday by making an eagle putt from one end of the green to the other on the 15th hole, sending him to a four-shot victory over Aaron Wise.
"If I had to do something special, I was ready for it," Horschel said. "Making that was huge."
No one ever got closer than two shots during a sun-soaked final round as Horschel closed with a 72, but there were still a few nervous moments on a day the course played so difficult that no one shot better than 69.
Horschel's streak of 49 consecutive holes without a bogey ended on No. 6. He didn't make his first birdie until the 10th hole. He had to scramble for a bogey on the par-3 12th that dropped his lead to two over Wise.
Before the long eagle, Horschel saved himself with par putts of 12 feet on the 13th hole and eight feet on 14.
And then it was over. From the front of the green on the par-5 15th, Horschel's putt from just inside 55 feet had the perfect line and perfect speed, bending left and dropping in the left side of the cup as he stretched out both arms in a quiet, disbelieving celebration.
"Just like you, big man," Horschel said to Nicklaus when it was over, the seventh PGA Tour win of his career in hand.
His lead was up to four shots, and it was a comfortable finish. Horschel finished at 13-under 275 and won $2.16 million, the largest paycheck of his career, and moved to No. 11 in the Official World Golf Ranking, the highest position of his career. As an elevated event, the win comes with a three-year exemption.
Nicklaus was as impressed with Horschel's two par saves on the back nine as his memorable eagle.
"I look at putting as you make putts when you have to make putts," said Nicklaus, among the best at that in golf history. "What counts is you make them when you made them. That to me that's the mark of a champion. And those are the guys who win tournaments, and you did that and you won."
Wise made a meaningless bogey on the final hole for a 71 and finished alone in second. The consolation prize was a day off Monday: He moved from No. 88 to No. 44 in the world and is exempt from 36-hole U.S. Open qualifying.
Luke List moved to No. 59 and also qualified for the U.S. Open. He tied for 26th at 1 under after closing with a 77.
Fellow Baylor School graduate Keith Mitchell was one shot ahead and tied for 18th after a 71.
Chile's Joaquin Niemann (71) tied for third at 7 under with Patrick Cantlay (71), the tournament's 2021 winner.
Cruises to crown
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — The awesome Aussie would not be denied.
Minjee Lee won the U.S. Women's Open by four strokes over Mina Harigae at Pine Needles to earn $1.8 million, the largest payout in the history of women's golf.
Lee closed with a par round of 71 to finish at 13-under 271 after the 26-year-old flirted with the tournament record of 16 under set by Juli Inkster in 1999 at Old Waverly.
"It's just super, super special and just a great honor," Lee said. "It's been my dream since I was a little girl. It's the one that I always wanted to win. Now I've done it, and just feels amazing."
Lee, whose winnings came from a record $10 million purse, was never challenged on a course that played significantly tougher than the previous three days. She opened with rounds of 67, 66 and 67.
Harigae shot a 72 for her best finish in a major and a check of slightly more than $1 million. Although the 32-year-old American knew she had no chance to win down the stretch, Harigae said it was still stressful knowing what was at stake for her: a check larger than the winner makes at most LPGA Tour events.
South Korea's Hye-Jin Choi was one of only two players to break par in the final round, carding a 70 to finish third at 7 under.
Kelly in a playoff
DES MOINES, Iowa — Jerry Kelly birdied the first hole of a playoff with Kirk Triplett to win the PGA Tour Champions' Principal Charity Classic.
The 55-year-old from Wisconsin, who sank a four-foot putt on No. 18 in the playoff, has nine victories on the 50-and-older circuit after winning three times on the PGA Tour.
Kelly and Triplett each shot a 5-under 67 to finish at 18-under 198 at Wakonda Club, two strokes ahead of Steven Alker (69) and Germany's Bernhard Langer (68), the 64-year-old senior tour legend.
Kelly returned from a lightning delay to play the final three holes of regulation, making a birdie on the par-3 17th. Triplett birdied the par-4 16th and closed with two pars.
The 60-year-old Triplett won the most recent of his eight senior titles in 2019.
Finn's fantastic finish
WINSEN, Germany — Finland's Kalle Samooja finished with back-to-back birdies and shot a course-record 8-under 64 at Green Eagle to win the European Open, the first DP World Tour victory for the 34-year-old.
Samooja's eight birdies in the final round, including three in the last four holes, left him 6-under 282 overall as he overturned a seven-shot deficit and secured a spot at the U.S. Open.
Wil Besseling of the Netherlands closed with a 71 to finish second at 4 under, one stroke ahead of England's Richard Mansell (70) and France's Victor Perez (74), the 54-hole leader who was coming off a Dutch Open victory.