The Journal Gazette
 
 
Monday, January 24, 2022 1:00 am

Golf

Swafford sores late eagle to win by 2

Associated Press

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Hudson Swafford won The American Express for the second time in five years Sunday, breaking a late tie with an eagle in a closing-round 8-under 64.

Swafford beat Tom Hoge by two strokes on PGA West's Stadium Course after beginning the day three strokes behind rookies Lee Hodges and Paul Barjon.

Tied for the lead with fellow former Georgia player Brian Harman and Francesco Molinari at 20 under, Swafford pulled ahead with the eagle on the par-5 16th. From 198 yards, he hit to 8 feet on the iconic hole with large, deep bunkers lining the left side.

Swafford then ran in a 20-foot birdie putt on 17, a par-3 hole called Alcatraz with an island green ringed by jagged rocks. He saved par on the par-4 18th with an 8-footer to wrap up a spot in the Masters.

The 34-year-old finished at 23-under 265 in the three-course event for his third PGA Tour title.

Hoge shot a 68.

Hodges, the 26-year-old from Alabama making his 14th PGA Tour start, shot a 70 to tie for third at 20 under with Harman (64) and Lanto Griffin (67).

Barjon, the Frenchman who played alongside close friend Hodges all four days, had a 73 to finish at 17 under. He also was making his 14th tour start.

LPGA: In Orlando, Florida, Danielle Kang readily admits she, and her golf game, remain a constant work in progress. She spent much of the offseason finding a way to be “comfortable being uncomfortable.” It seems to be working.

On a difficult championship test at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, Kang ran off five birdies in a seven-hole stretch in the middle of her round, posted the low score Sunday at 4-under 68 and sprinted away to a three-shot victory at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

“My mental game was really good,” said Kang, who was winless in 2021 after having won in each of her previous four LPGA seasons. “I had a really good attitude all day today and yesterday. I know I left some putts out there, but I never let it get to me, and I kept having to give myself birdie chances as much as possible.”

Kang finished at 16-under 272, three shots clear of Canada's Brooke Henderson (70).

PGA CHAMPIONS: In Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii, Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the par-4 18th hole in regulation for a 6-under 66 and then beat Steven Alker on the second playoff hole to win the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai for the third time.

Jimenez won two years ago in a playoff, along with winning outright in 2015. The season opener is for winners from the last two years and senior major champions from the last five years, along with a few sponsor exemptions.

DP WORLD: In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thomas Pieters claimed the sixth and biggest European tour title of his career by winning the Abu Dhabi Championship by one shot.

The Belgian shot an even par 72 in the final round for a total of 278 to edge Rafa Cabrera Bello and Shubhankar Sharma in joint second.

Viktor Hovland (72) fell short in his bid for a third victory in his last four events and finished in joint fourth place with Victor Dubuisson (69), two shots back.


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