April 28, 2014 in Sports

Nervous Noh hangs on to win Zurich Classic

Associated Press
 

Seung-Yul Noh overcame windy conditions and his nerves, shooting a 1-under 71 on Sunday to win the Zurich Classic in Avondale, La., by two shots for his first PGA Tour victory.

While Noh, the leader through three rounds, never fell out of first, he did make his first three bogeys of the tournament and briefly fell into a tie with Keegan Bradley.

But Bradley did himself in with a bogey on the fifth hole and a triple bogey on the sixth, while Noh remained steady enough to hold off remaining challengers.

The 22-year-old South Korean player, the youngest winner this season, wore yellow and black ribbons on his hat to honor the more than 300 dead or missing in a ferry accident in waters off his home country.

After taking the third-round lead and becoming the first to play 54 holes at TPC Louisiana without a bogey, he said he hoped he could string together one more bogey-free round and come through with a victory to lift the spirits of his nation. He accomplished the second part, and he’ll take it. His best finish in 77 previous PGA Tour starts was a tie for fourth at the 2012 AT&T National.

The seventh first-time PGA Tour winner in the last 10 years in the event, Noh finished at 19-under 269 and earned $1,224,000. Andrew Svoboda and Robert Streb tied for second. Svoboda had a 69, and Streb shot 70.

Jeff Overton, who briefly pulled within a stroke of Noh on the back nine, had a 70 to finish fourth at 16 under. Bradley wound up with a 75 to tie for eighth at 13 under.

Spokane’s Alex Prugh finished in a tie for 29th place after a final-round 73 left him at 7-under 281.

LPGA

Lydia Ko birdied the final hole for her third LPGA Tour victory and first as a professional, holding off Stacy Lewis and Jenny Shin in the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in Daly City, Calif.

It went down to the final shots, and the teen made a 6-foot birdie putt moments before Lewis knocked in a 4-footer of her own to finish one stroke back.

After beginning the day a stroke behind Lewis, Ko birdied three of her final four holes on the front nine on the way to a 3-under 69 and 12-under 276 total at Lake Merced.

Ko earned $270,000, celebrating on the 18th green three days after celebrating her 17th birthday at the first tee box with the gallery singing “Happy Birthday.”

Ko will move up two spots to No. 2 in the next world ranking.

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