PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — On a long, hard day at the Honda Classic, Michael Thompson relied on a superb short game to win for the first time on the PGA Tour.
Thompson seized control early with a 50-foot eagle putt on the third hole, then kept his distance with clutch par saves and closed with a birdie from the bunker. It gave him a 1-under 69 — one of only five rounds under par at PGA National — and a two-shot win over Geoff Ogilvy.
“This week was magical,” Thompson said. “Just had a groove and kept feeling it.”
It was a big week for Ogilvy, too.
The former U.S. Open champion had plunged to No. 79 in the world ranking and already missed the Match Play Championship. He was prepared for another week off next week until putting together four solid rounds.
He chipped in from behind the 16th green for birdie and two-putted for birdie on the 18th for a 69. The runner-up finish moves him into the top 50 (No. 47) and gets him into the World Golf Championship at Doral.
Luke Guthrie, tied with Thompson for the 54-hole lead, fell behind with a bogey on the second hole and closed with a 73 to finish third.
Despite a bogey on the final hole, Erik Compton had a 70 and was part of the five-way tie for fourth.
Compton, who already has had two heart transplants, earned his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.
Thompson, who finished at 9-under 271, had made only one cut this year and finished at the bottom of the back. He was solid from the start Sunday on another windswept day in south Florida, one of only three players who shot par or better all four rounds.
“You don’t have to do much wrong to be making a bogey out there, so it’s pretty impressive,” Ogilvy said of Thompson’s final round. “It’s a great effort, really.”
The win moves Thompson to No. 45 in the world and gets him into his first World Golf Championship next week.
“This is everything,” Thompson said. “This is a childhood dream come true. I’ve dreamed of playing out here since I was 7 years old. And to win, it’s just unbelievable. I just can’t put it into words. The whole day was awesome.”
Lewis holds on to win HSBC: In Singapore, Stacy Lewis, the 2012 LPGA Player of the Year, won the HSBC Women’s Champions for her sixth career title on the tour. She closed with a 1-under 71, overcoming two bogeys and some shaky putting on the back nine to hold off South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi by one stroke.
“The last four or five holes, I was pretty nervous, I’m not going to lie,” said Lewis, who finished at 15-under 273 Sentosa Golf Club. “I just played hard and put my head down and tried to make as many putts as I could, and fortunately I came away with the win.”
Paula Creamer, hampered by a shoulder injury from a car wreck last week in Thailand, held a share of the lead early in the day but struggled with her putting on the back nine and faded to a 71 to finish third at 13 under.
Lewis and Choi began the day with a share of the lead, but Lewis was able to gain some distance with a superb shot on the par-5 seventh hole.
After a long drive off the tee, Lewis hit a 200-yard shot toward the pin that stopped about five inches short. She tapped in for eagle, leaving her one shot ahead of Choi and two ahead of Creamer.
“It was probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit,” Lewis said. “It had to be pretty close. I couldn’t really tell from where I was, but it was perfect.”
Van Der Walt wins TSHWANE: In Centurion, South Africa, Dawie Van Der Walt became the fifth South African winner in 10 European Tour events this season with his two-shot victory at the Tshwane Open.
Van Der Walt posted a final round 5-under 67 to finish at 21-under overall for his first win on the Tour.
The Texas-based golfer is ranked 436th in the world. Van Der Walt was among four players tied for the lead after the third round.
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