Thursday 27 April 2017

Cochran claims Senior Open crown

American Russ Cochran won the Senior Open Championship at Walton Heath with a closing 67 yesterday.

The 52-year-old left-hander finished 12-under par, two ahead of fellow overnight leader Mark Calcavecchia.

Former Ryder Cup captains Tom Watson and Corey Pavin shared third place a shot further back after rounds of 67 and 69 respectively, with England's Barry Lane in fifth place, another stroke adrift. The Irish trio of Mark McNulty, Denis O'Sullivan and Eamonn Darcy failed to figure.

"It feels great," said Cochran. "I had my son on the bag. I told him I was going to work hard and come away with something good. I think he was the lucky charm."

Victory for Calcavecchia would have made him the fourth man to win the Senior Open having won the British Open itself, with Bob Charles, Gary Player and Watson the men to have done it to date.

Masters glory for Miyazato

Japan's Ai Miyazato held off the challenge of American Stacy Lewis to claim her second Evian Masters title in France.

Miyazato took a two-shot lead into the final round and carded a closing 70 for a 15-under-par total.

That was enough to finish two clear of Lewis, who also returned a 70, from Japan's Miki Saiki, Korea's In Kyung Kim and American Angela Stanford.

Miyazato made the perfect start, with three birdies in the first eight holes taking the 26-year-old to the turn in 33. Bogeys at the 12th and 14th gave the chasing pack hope, but Miyazato could afford to close with four pars to seal the win.

Miyazato vowed to donate some of her €363,079 first prize to the victims of the earthquake which devastated northern Japan in March.

"I haven't decided yet what to do exactly, whether it'll be all the amount or a sum of it, but I'll definitely be making donations," Miyazato said.

The 26-year-old from Okinawa wears a button on her hat to publicise the foundation she created with fellow tour players Mika Miyazato and Momoko Ueda.

"I'm wearing this button because I want to get as much help and support from not just Japan, but all over the world," she added.

"By wearing this button and playing I have Japan in my thoughts, and it gives me motivation to play as well.

"This is my favourite tournament so I'm really happy that could win this tournament again."

Irish Independent

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