HUMBLE, Texas — Lanto Griffin took the lead with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and won the Houston Open on Sunday (Monday, Manila time) with a six-foot par at the end that gave him a 3-under 69 and a one-shot victory that sends him to the Masters next year.
Griffin was locked into a battle on the back nine at the Golf Club of Houston with Mark Hubbard and Scott Harrington. None of the three had won on the PGA Tour. Hubbard lost the lead with a bogey on the par-5 16th, while Harrington's big rally ended with a three-putt bogey on the 17th.
Griffin's birdie on the 16th was his first since the eighth hole. On the 18th hole, he played it away from the water and into the right rough and hit his approach to 60 feet. His birdie putt ran six feet by the hole, and he dropped his putter and raised both arms when it dropped for the win.
He finished at 14-under 274 and earned a two-year exemption, along with trips to the Masters and PGA Championship.
ROME — Bernd Wiesberger closed with a 6-under 65 to win the Italian Open and move atop the Race to Dubai standings on the European Tour.
Wiesberger rallied from three shots behind Matt Fitzpatrick at Olgiata Golf Club. Fitzpatrick had chances to force a playoff but narrowly missed an eagle putt on the 17th and a birdie putt on the 18th hole. He shot a 69.
Wiesberger, who finished at 16-under 268, won for the third time this year on the European Tour following victories at Made in Denmark and the Scottish Open. He now has two victories this year in the Rolex Series.
Wiesberger has 4,198 points in the Race to Dubai, ahead of Jon Ram (3,898), British Open champion Shane Lowry (3,535) and Fitzpatrick (2,865).
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
CARY, N.C. — Jerry Kelly closed with a 7-under 65 and won the SAS Championship on Sunday, allowing him to close the gap in the Charles Schwab Cup as the PGA Tour Champions heads into its postseason.
Kelly ran off five straight birdies on the front nine at Prestonwood Country Club to take control. Two birdies late in the final round gave him some breathing room, and he closed with a bogey for a one-shot victory over David McKenzie, who shot 63.
Woody Austin and Doug Barron, who shared the lead going into the final round, each shot 71 and tied for third with David Toms (66).
Kelly moved to within $221,430 of Scott McCarron in the Schwab Cup. Points are double in the three playoff events.
Jin Young Ko, the No. 1 player in women's golf, returned home and won the Hite Jinro Championship on the Korean LPGA by closing with a 72 for a one-shot victory. ... Justin Shin of Canada closed with a 3-under 68 for a three-shot victory in the Macau Open, the season-ending event on the PGA Tour China Series. Max McGreevy tied for 41st and won the money title, giving him status next year on the Korn Ferry Tour along with Trevor Sluman, David Kocher, Cyril Bouniol of France and Luke Kwon of South Korea. ... Sungjae Im rallied from seven shots behind with a 5-under 67 to win the Genesis Open on the Korean Tour. ... Shugo Imahira birdied his last hole on Friday, and that turned out to be the winner when the final two rounds of the Bridgestone Open were canceled because of Typhoon Hagibis. Imahira won by one shot to become the fifth player to win the Bridgestone Open back-to-back. His prize money was reduced by 50%, but still enough to reach the top of the money list on the Japan Golf Tour. ... Emilio Cuartero Blanco needed three holes to win the Stone Irish Challenge on Sunday. The final round was washed out by rain, and Blanco faced a sudden-death playoff against Oscar Lengden on the par-3 17th hole. Blanco won with a 12-foot birdie for his first European Challenge Tour victory. ... Darren Beck had six birdies on the back nine of Kalgoorlie Golf Club and closed with a 3-under 69 for a two-shot victory in the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship. It was his first victory since 2008 on the PGA Tour of Australasia. ... Jean Hugo closed with a 4-over 74 and still won the Sun Wild Coast Challenge by four shots on the Sunshine Tour. ... Ah-reum Hwang closed with a 1-under 71 for a two-shot victory in the Stanley Ladies Golf Tournament on the Japan LPGA.