ORLANDO, Florida: Brooks Koepka became the first multiple winner in LIV Golf on Sunday, while Corey Conners won the Valero Texas Open for the second time in five years for his second PGA Tour title.
Koepka closed with a 3-under 68, making a 4-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-shot victory over Sebastian Munoz.
Munoz was trying to stay with Koepka along the back nine and didn’t go away easily. He fell two shots behind when he sent a bunker shot flying over the green at the par-5 14th. And while he did well to scramble for par, Koepka made a short birdie.
Munoz bounced back by holing a chip for birdie on the 16th to cut the deficit to one. But on the par-5 17th, the easiest hole at Orange County, the Colombian again hit a bunker shot over the green. He made another par, and Koepka gave him hope by missing a 5-foot birdie.
The final hole shed some insight into the team component of LIV Golf.
Koepka and Munoz both were about 40 feet away for birdie. Koepka went first and left the putt just over 4 feet away. Munoz needed to make birdie to force a playoff. However, his Torque team had a one-shot lead over the Smash team led by Koepka.
If he were to hit the putt too hard and three-putt for bogey, Munoz might have cost Torque the team title. He left it just under 4 feet short, and made the par for Torque to win a team competition for the first time.
In San Antonio, Texas, Conners closed with a 4-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over rookie Sam Stevens.
Also the 2019 winner, Conners had a 15-under 273 total on TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course. The Canadian now heads to the Masters, where he tied sixth last year for his second straight top-10 finish at Augusta National.
A shot behind Patrick Rodgers starting play, Conners had a three-shot lead after he birdied No. 15. Stevens eagled the 17th, but missed a 9-foot birdie putt at 18 that would have tied it. Connors ended it with a 3-foot par putt on 18.
Stevens shot a 66. Sam Ryder (66) and Matt Kuchar (68) followed at 13 under.
Rodgers saw a chance for his first tour victory and first Masters spot slip away. He shot a 73 to finish fifth at 11 under.
In Palos Verdes Estates, California, Ruoning Yin became the second Chinese winner in LPGA Tour history, holding off Georgia Hall in the DIO Implant LA Open.
The 20-year-old Yin closed with an eventful 1-under 70 for a one-stroke victory over Hall, the English player whose 5-foot birdie try on the 18th to force a playoff slid by the right side. Recently retired Shanshan Feng is the other only other Chinese champion, winning 10 times on the LPGA Tour.
Yin finished at 15-under 269 at Palos Verdes Golf Club, making six birdies and five bogeys in the final round. She had a nine-hole stretch without a par, making a birdie on No. 2, three straight bogeys, four straight birdies and a bogey on No. 10. After dropping a stroke on 13, she birdied 14 and parred the final four.
Hall closed with a 67, making four birdies in a bogey-free round. She also was second last week in Arizona, losing a playoff to Celine Boutier.
Korn Ferry Tour
Down south in Santiago, Chile, Ben Kohles made a 5-foot birdie putt in regulation on the par-5 18th hole for a 5-under 67 to force a playoff, then he made two more birdies to win the Astara Chile Classic on the second hole of a playoff Sunday over Dimi Papadatos.
Kohles won for the third time on the Korn Ferry Tour, the last two back-to-back early in the 2012 season.
Papadatos birdied three of his last six holes for a 65, but he failed to birdie the 18th. In the playoff on the 18th, both made birdie. The second time playing it in overtime, Papadatos couldn’t match Kohles’ birdie.
Kohles moved to the top of the Korn Ferry Tour points list.
Tim Widing (68) and Rico Hoey (70) tied for third, two shots out of the playoff.
Gigi Stoll closed with a 4-under 68 and held on for a one-shot victory over Natasha Andrea Oon in the Casino Del Sol Classic on the Epson Tour. ... Shugo Imahira rallied from a two-shot deficit by closing with an 8-under 63 for a three-shot win over Han Lee to win the Token Homemate Cup in the season opener on the Japan Golf Tour. Imahira won for the eighth time on the Japan tour. ... Ugo Coussaud of France had a 5-under 67 and held on for a one-shot victory over Manuel Elvira of Spain and Joel Girbach of Switzerland in The Challenge held in India. It was Coussaud’s first title on the European Challenge Tour. ... Ryan Van Velzen had a 4-under 68 and won the Limpopo Championship by one shot on the Sunshine Tour. ... Tom Power Horan made a hole-in-one on his way to a 5-under 67, giving him a one-shot victory over John Lyras in The National Tournament in the final event of the season on the PGA Tour of Australasia. ... Charlie Hillier of New Zealand closed with an even-par 71 for a one-shot victory in the JHSF Brazil open on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. ... Lala Anai closed with a 2-under 70 and won a sudden-death playoff against Shoko Sasaki in the Yamaha Ladies Open Katsuragi on the Japan LPGA.