Steve Stricker finally found the winning formula at the Memorial on Sunday in Dublin, Ohio.
Stricker, who had never finished in the top 10 in his 11 previous trips to Muirfield Village, built a big lead on the front nine, then relied on his silky putting stroke for two clutch pars to hang on for a one-shot victory over Matt Kuchar and Brandt Jobe.
He closed with a 4-under 68, lagging from 20 feet for a two-putt bogey on the 18th hole. By then, the hard work was over. The 44-year-old Stricker twice saved par from bunkers on the 16th and 17th holes, making putts of 15 feet and 7 feet to go to the last hole with a two-shot lead.
Stricker finished at 16-under 272 and earned $1,116,000 for his 10th PGA Tour title and sixth in three years. He moved to No. 4 in the world, becoming the highest-ranked American for the first time in his career.
Kuchar and Jobe closed with 65s.
ShopRite LPGA Classic
Brittany Lincicome made a 4-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic for her fourth LPGA Tour title and first in two years.
Lincicome closed with a bogey-free 5-under 66 for a one-shot victory over third-ranked Jiyai Shin (6) and No. 4 Cristie Kerr (69). It was Lincicome’s first win since the 2009 Kraft Nabisco.
The 25-year-old Lincicome finished the 54-hole tournament on the Bay Course at Seaview in Galloway Township, N.J., with an 11-under 202 total, and the difference definitely was par 5s. Lincicome played nine par 5s in the tournament and had seven birdies, an eagle and a par, with the last birdie coming on the par-5, 501-yard 18th.
Bob Gilder made a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 18, then escaped with a one-stroke victory in the Principal Charity Classic in West Des Moines, Iowa, when Mark Brooks bogeyed the hole.
Brooks, seeking his first victory in seven starts on the Champions Tour, had a three-stroke lead with four to play. But he hit into the water on 17 and needed a nifty putt just to make bogey, then three-putted on 18 to hand the title to Gilder, also the tournament winner in 2002.
The 60-year-old Gilder earned his 10th victory on the 50-and-over circuit but first since 2006. He closed with a 6-under 65 for a 14-under 199 total. Brooks, the leader after the first two rounds, shot a 68.
At Stillwater, Okla., Patrick Reed closed out Augusta State’s second straight NCAA title, beating Georgia’s Harris English 2 and 1 in the featured matchup between each team’s top player.
Reed needed only a double bogey to halve the 17th hole and win the championship after English hit his second shot into a lake left of the green. Reed, who played for the Bulldogs as a freshman, has helped turn Augusta State into a budding powerhouse, right in the shadows of Augusta National.
The Jaguars, who compete in Division II in all sports except golf, also got victories from Mitchell Krywulycz and Carter Newman to win the final match 3-2. Russell Henley and Bryden MacPherson won their matches for Georgia. On Thursday, LSU’s John Peterson won the individual title.
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