J.T. Poston claimed his second PGA Tour win on Sunday, holding on to win the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run.

The 29-year-old posted a two-under 69 in the fourth and final round to finish on 21-under for the tournament, three shots clear of Emiliano Grillo and the fast-finishing Christiaan Bezuidenhout, tied for second at 18-under.

As well as qualifying for The Open Championship, Poston becomes the first player since David Frost in 1992 to go wire-to-wire at the John Deere Classic and only the third in the tournament's history along with Scott Hoch, who achieved the feat in 1980.

Poston revealed it was not easy to remove the possibility of that achievement from his mind following his round, but with his last win coming at the 2019 Wyndham Championship, believes it is a boost for his confidence.

"It is hard," he told CBS. "I mean, wire-to-wire, having the lead for that long, it's just hard not to think about it and think about that finish line.

"I tried to stick to the game plan. We got off to a great start and then, kind of started to try and give some back, but I hit a lot of good shots down the stretch.

"I was just trying to breathe. I think there were a lot of nerves, more than the first few days. I was just trying to battle through them and I think, after this week, knowing I can play with those nerves. I can still win, I can still shoot a solid score considering the pressure and trying to win out here."

Poston started strongly, opening the round with consecutive birdies on each of the first three holes, but his momentum was halted with bogeys on the fifth and sixth holes.

His round stabilised on the back nine, however, with a birdie on the par-five 17th effectively securing the tournament.

Poston was able to see off Grillo and Bezuidenhout, who claimed three birdies over the closing five holes, with Christopher Gotterup and Scott Stallings finishing a further stroke back on 17-under.

Adrian Meronk became Poland's first winner on the European/DP World Tour after he emerged victorious at the Irish Open on Sunday.

Meronk ultimately ended the tournament at the Mount Juliet Estate with a healthy three-shot cushion on 20 under, but that does not tell the whole story.

Although he started the final day with a one-shot lead, he was one off the top of the leaderboard heading into his final five holes.

Ryan Fox carded a wonderful eight-under 64 to put himself in the driving seat, reaching the clubhouse on 17 under for the tournament.

But Meronk came on strong in the latter stages, with unlikely birdie putts coming off on the 15th and 16th to put him back at the summit, and an even more surprising eagle on the penultimate hole sealed it.

"It's such a relief to be honest," Meronk said. "I've been coming quite close a couple of times this year, and to finally open the door, it's just a dream come true. That's why we practise every day – such a relief and so happy.

"I'm going to keep going forward. It's another step for me. And I'm excited I achieved it here in Ireland, such a great history, and I'm just super excited. I can't describe it.

"It was an unbelievable feeling and to hit such a good shot on the last hole, I'm super proud of myself and my caddie, and yes, super happy."

Meronk's success also captured the attention of another famous Polish sportsman.

Former Poland and Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek sent Meronk a personal video message saluting his historic triumph.

"Adrian, congratulations," Dudek began.

"You were waiting for that moment so many years. That's a first Pole on the podium in this beautiful sport.

"You are a legend of this game. We're very proud of you. Enjoy every single moment. All the best, come on!"

Several members of Jamaica’s history-making team to the 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship in Puerto Rico returned to the island with their trophies on Friday night.

England’s Paul Casey, ranked 26th in the world, has become the latest player to join the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Invitational.

Casey has won 21 times as a professional, including three times on the PGA Tour and another 15 on the European Tour. He also represented Team Europe five times in the Ryder Cup.

A back injury has kept Casey sidelined since he took part in the WGC Match Play Championship in March. He played two holes of his opening match when he conceded due to back spasms, before withdrawing from the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

He plans to make his LIV debut later this month at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Casey joins a growing list of players to accept PGA Tour bans and join the breakaway series, fronted by CEO Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson are some of the marquee names that have come on board with the promise of big signing bonuses, hefty prize purses and an eased schedule.

Branden Grace posted a seven-under 65 in the final round on Saturday, leapfrogging Dustin Johnson and Carlos Ortiz to win LIV Golf Portland.

Two shots behind the co-leaders at the start of the third round, Grace reeled off four birdies in the final six holes, including three consecutive birdies between 15 and 17, to take out the tournament.

With the victory, the South African follows up compatriot Charl Schwartel's win in London at LIV Golf's inaugural event in June.

The South African quartet that makes up Stinger GC - Grace, Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Hennie du Plessis – could only manage second in the team standings, though, with Johnson's 4 Aces GC taking out first.

"What a day. It's been like this the whole day, the crowd came out and I played flawless golf," Grace said afterwards. "I played, really, really well when I needed to do something special. It came up and I managed to pull it off, but what a great day.

"I knew the back nine, I had to kind of dig deep. Carlos was playing great golf, DJ was coming back and I think, one of the big things for me today was the birdie on 13.

"Then I thought, 'Now, I'm in with it.' Obviously, the finish was just amazing."  

Amid the news former Ryder Cup player Paul Casey defected from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed breakaway competition, Grace finished the tournament on 13-under, two strokes ahead of Ortiz who posted a three-under 69 on Saturday.

They were followed by 2020 Masters winner Johnson and another recent defector in Patrick Reed, who finished on nine-under after 54 holes.

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson finished tied for 40th this week with a 54-hole score of 10-over. Through two LIV Golf events, Mickelson is a combined 20-over par.

J.T. Poston holds a three-stroke lead heading into the final round of the John Deere Classic after shooting a four-under 67 on Saturday.

Trying to complete a wire-to-wire victory after tying for second last weekend at the Travelers Championship, Poston sits on 19-under after 54 holes at TPC Deere Run.

The 29-year-old started strongly with three birdies on the front nine, but suffered a blip on the closing nine holes, with a birdie on 14 softening the blow of bogeys on 12 and 15.

He recovered to take momentum into Sunday with an eagle on the par-five 17th, forcing his way past the bunkers on his approach to the green to then one-putt and restore breathing room from the chasing pack.

Despite the solid form coming into this weekend in Silvis, Poston's lone win on the PGA Tour came in 2019, taking out the Wyndham Championship.

He leads a three-way tie for second between Scott Stallings, Denny McCarthy and Emiliano Grillo, who birdied four of the last five holes on Saturday to finish on 16-under.

Out of the top four players on the leaderboard, McCarthy is the lone player not to have won a tournament on the PGA Tour, with Stallings and Grillo's last wins coming in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Trailing them is Callum Tarren on 15-under, with Bo Hoag and Chris Naegel tied for sixth on 14-under.

Hoag, the world number 524, was Saturday's big mover with a third-round score of eight-under, opening the first four holes with two birdies and an eagle.

He more than compensated for his solitary bogey on 15 with birdies on 14, 16 and 17 to finish with the day's lowest score.

Dustin Johnson and Carlos Ortiz are tied for the lead at LIV Golf Portland after two rounds of play, heading into the final day at eight under, two strokes clear of the chasing field.

Ortiz was the outright leader after his first-round 67, following it up with a three-under 69. Johnson was outright second after Thursday, posting a 68, and he proceeded to shoot another 68 in his second trip around Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Arguably the biggest star on the LIV Golf roster after Phil Mickelson, Johnson had six birdies and one bogey on the front-nine, with three bogeys and two birdies on the back-nine keeping him from running away with a lead.

In outright third place is Branden Grace at six under, while Justin Harding is alone at five under, with the group of Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Jinchiro Kozuma, Patrick Reed and Sihwan Kim rounding out the top-10 in a tie for fifth.

With Johnson and Reed both near the top of the leaderboard, it puts their team – 4 Aces GC, along with Pat Perez and Talor Gooch – atop the teams leaderboard at 15 under, four strokes clear of the South African team Stinger GC, consisting of Grace, Oosthuizen, Hennie du Plessis and Charl Schwartzel.

After an even par opening round, Bryson DeChambeau put himself back into contention with a three-under Friday, giving him a share of 10th with Sam Horsfield.

4 Aces partners Gooch and Perez are both at two under, tied for 12th, while Martin Kaymer, Matthew Wolff and Kevin Na are the last of the players under par.

Abraham Ancer is at even par, Sergio Garcia is at two over, and Mickelson shot his second consecutive 75 to finish play at six over.

J.T. Poston continued his terrific run of form on Friday to extend his lead to four strokes at the John Deere Classic, sitting at 15 under through 36 holes.

Coming off a second-place finish at the Travelers Championship last week, Poston shot Thursday's round of the day with a 62, and followed it up with a 65. Only six players had better rounds on Friday, with Maverick McNealy the sole 63.

Through two rounds, Poston now has 14 birdies, one bogey and one eagle.

In outright second place is Denny McCarthy, with rounds of 66 and 65, including going bogey-free on his second trip around the course to head into the weekend at 11 under.

The rest of the top-10 has strong international representation, with Austria's Matthias Schwab and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo part of a four-way tie for third place at 10 under, while Taiwan's C.T. Pan, England's Callum Taren and Canada's Michael Gligic are a further shot back in the log-jam at nine under.

South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Canada's Adam Svensson are at eight under, America's Charles Howell III is at seven under, while India's Anirban Lahiri and Australia's Cam Davis highlight the large group at six under.

After narrowly missing out on a win at the Travelers Championship last weekend – losing due to a double-bogey on the 72nd hole – Sahith Theegala finished right on the cut-line at three under, highlighting the friendly scoring conditions.

John Huh missed out on the weekend's play by one stroke, Webb Simpson finished one under, and Cameron Champ missed the cut by three shots at even par.

The torrential downpours at intervals may have tested the players' resolve, but it was a case of all's well that ends well, particularly for hosts Puerto Rico, who maximised their familiarity to take top team honours ahead of the Dominican Republic and scored several category wins as well. Jamaica captured third place overall.

In the senior boys (18 and under) Kurt Rivers of Turks & Caicos (with a three-Round aggregate of 226 foiled what would otherwise have been a sweep for the hosts, as Kelvin Hernandez, with a total of 210, led the 1-2 tandem ahead of compatriot Gustavo Rangel (222).

For the senior girls, it was a "case of the two Emilys" with Jamaica's Emily Mayne tying for first place with Barbadian Emily Odwin. Mayne's 2nd round 1 under par 70 was enough to ensure both golfers finished the 3 Round with the same aggregate score (224). Holly McLean of the Cayman Islands was just one stroke back, with 225.

There was better news for the Caymans in Boys 15 & under the action, and Danny Lyne, with an aggregate of 226 overcame early leader Huerta of the Dominican Republic to claim too honors. Huerta, with 230, finished third behind Puerto Rico's Hector Boria (227).

In the 15 & Under Girls, Jamaica's Samantha Azan, with 231 finished just ahead of Mattea Issa of Jamaica and the Puerto Rican pair Victoria Rivera and Krishny Erwin, for a three-way tie at 232.

Another Puerto Rican pair topped the Boys 13 & under age group on the leaderboard. Evan Peña in lead was followed by a tie between Fernando Leduc and Aidan Gorospe of the Bahamas.

The honours for the Girls 13 & under were basically a runaway for Ava Saavedra of Puerto Rico, with her compatriot Naomi Muniz finishing third behind Maria Fernandez of the Dominican Republic.

Spirits were high at day's end going into the trophy presentations, with the consensus being that this had been among the more competitive and evenly contested Junior Tournament for some time.

Congratulations to all winners, team members and all involved. Anticipation is already high for the 2023 CAJGC in the Cayman Islands.

Samantha Azan and Emily Mayne closed the championship on top of their respective age groups but Jamaica fell short of the team title at the 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships that ended on Thursday.

Azan won the 15 & Under category while Mayne was tied for first place in the 18 & Under categories.

Azan led on day one, dropped to third on day two but bounced back to win outright on the final day by just one stroke ahead of the day-two leader Mattea Issa.  Issa was tied for second with Victoria Rivera and Elvin Krishny of Puerto Rico.

Azsan shot a six over par 78 for a three-day total of 231 while Issa posted her worst score of the competition of nine over par 81 to end on 232.

Mayne enjoyed a good tournament, moving from third on day one to first on day two. Her final day score of 80 saw her end with a three-day total of 11 over par 224, tied with Emily Odwin of Barbados. Meanwhile, Eryn Blakely maintained her second-day position of seventh place after she scored 80 to close the championship on 251.

Alessandra Coe was Jamaica's lone female in the 13 & Under category.  She finished in eighth place with scores of 103, 99 and 106 for a combined total of 308.  Ava Saavedra of Puerto Rico won the category after posting an overall score of 237.

The results of the female golfers are significant as it is the first time any female was winning any of the age group categories.  The coaches, Jason Lopez and Jonathan Newnham, who won an age group category as a player, as well as team manager Alison Reid, were extremely proud of their performances.

Ryan Lue was the best-placed Jamaican male.  He competed in the 15 & Under category and closed the championship with a score of 239, good for fourth place.

Aaron Gosh scored 167 for 10th place while Lek Drummond was tied for 14th place with Camdyn Forbes of the Bahamas on 275.

The 15 & Under category winner was Danny Lyne of the Cayman Islands after scoring 76 on the final day with a combined total of 13 over par 236.

Rocco Lopez ended eighth in the 18 & Under category.  He scored 234 over the three days.  Trey Williams came 10th with 241 while Aman Dhiman was tied for 14th on 244.  Alexander Dupuch of the Bahamas posted the same three-day total.

The 18 & Under category went to Kelvin Hernandez of Puerto Rico with scores of 73, 68 and 69 for a combined total of three under par 210.

The final male age group of 13 & Under went to Evan Pena of Puerto Rico who led on all three days.  He posted scores of 73, 74, and 81 for a combined total of 15 over par 228.  The two Jamaicans - Kemari Morris 269 and Shasa Fedlefsen 272 were eighth and ninth respectively.

 

 

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has hit back at LIV Golf rebels and says sanctions imposed on players were "proportionate and fair".

Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were among 16 DP World Tour members who were last week fined £100,000 and banned from playing in three events – the first being the Scottish Open next week.

They were sanctioned by the DP World Tour for playing in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event at Centurion Club without permission last month.

In an open letter, which was addressed to Pelley, published by The Telegraph, the 16 players threatened to take legal action against the DP World Tour if the fines and suspensions were not rescinded.

They also claimed that the DP World Tour is playing "second fiddle" to the PGA Tour in an extended relationship between the two.

Pelley provided a strong response as he refused to back down on Friday.

He said in a statement: "There has been a leak to the media of a letter we received on behalf of a number of LIV Golf players which contains so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged.

"Before joining LIV Golf, players knew there would be consequences if they chose money over competition. Many of them at the time understood and accepted that. Indeed, as one player named in the letter said in a media interview earlier this year; 'If they ban me, they ban me.' It is not credible that some are now surprised with the actions we have taken.

"The letter claims that these players 'care deeply' for the DP World Tour. An analysis of the past participation statistics on our Tour in recent years of several of the leading players named suggests otherwise

"One player in particular named in the note has only played six Rolex Series events in the past five years. Another one, only four. I wish many of them had been as keen to play on our Tour then as they seem to be now, based on the fact they have either resigned their membership of the PGA Tour or, if they are still in membership, have been suspended indefinitely.

"Furthermore, given how deeply these players say they care about the DP World Tour, perhaps some of them could have played in Ireland this week in support of our new title sponsor, in particular one player who gave us a signed commitment to play at Mount Juliet.

"With that player currently in action at Pumpkin Ridge, you can imagine the allegation in the letter that we are in the wrong, is hard to accept.

"We also take great exception to an allegation made near the end of the letter which states we are somehow playing 'second fiddle' to the PGA Tour. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"We held a player meeting in Ireland on Tuesday where we outlined in great detail all the many benefits of our expanded relationship with the PGA Tour.

"One of those is an unprecedented ten cards on offer to the PGA Tour, cards that many of the players named in this letter desperately wanted to attain in the early stages of their careers. Why now be critical of those trying to do the same?

"The letter also expresses supposed concern about the future of the DP World Tour. Rest assured no-one should have any worries on that score.

"The DP World Tour is a vibrant, independent and global Tour with increasing and guaranteed prize fund growth over the next five years. We have fantastic tournaments across the year including a host of wonderful national Opens, all played in front of huge crowds, illustrated perfectly by this week's Irish Open.

"Finally, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on any potential legal matters.

"I will simply reiterate that our Members' Regulations which have been in force for more than 30 years, have been accepted by all the players, are there to protect all of our members, and we will use them to take all necessary steps to protect their interests.

"The sanctions for those members who knowingly broke our rules by playing at the Centurion Club without a release are proportionate, fair and, I believe, considered necessary by the majority of our members."

Mexico's Carlos Ortiz is the outright leader after the first round at LIV Golf Portland, finishing five under after his first trip around Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

He was on track for a bigger lead than the one stroke buffer he holds, with three birdies from his first four holes after beginning his shotgun start on the ninth tee, before back-to-back bogeys brought him back to the field.

Ortiz finished his round with three birdies on his final five holes, re-taking the lead in the final stages of play.

Dustin Johnson is just one stroke back in outright second place at four under, bogeying his first hole of the day as he started on the 18th, but it would be his only blemish, collecting five birdies and 12 pars the rest of the way.

Rounding out the top-five is Pat Perez, Hideto Tanihara, Wade Ormsby and Branden Grace in a tie for third at three under.

Playing in his first LIV Golf event, Brooks Koepka put in a good showing as one of 13 players to finish under par, tied for seventh along with Hennie du Plessis after their two-under 70s.

Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, Scott Vincent and Yuki Inamori are tied for ninth at one under, while big names Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau headline the group at even par.

Koepka's brother Chase Koepka is at one over along with Mexico's Abraham Ancer, winner of LIV Golf's debut event Charl Schwartzel is at two over with Ian Poulter, and Phil Mickelson finished at three over with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Na.

American J.T. Poston played a near-flawless opening round at TPC Deere Run to lead the John Deere Classic by two strokes after Thursday's action.

Poston, who was one career PGA Tour win back at the Wyndham Championship in 2019, is arguably in career-best form at the moment after finishing tied for second in last week's Travelers Championship. He also finished tied for third at the Wells Fargo Championship, and collected another top-10 at RBC Heritage. 

He posted seven birdies, and an eagle on the par-five second hole, in his bogey-free round, finishing with a nine-under 62.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Poston said he can feel himself in a groove.

"I think it's starting to kind of come together and see the results and see the shots, and kind of building that confidence back into my ball striking," he said.

"Hit my irons really well and hitting a lot of fairways, so I'm able to kind of attack some of the pins. Really, just hitting a lot of greens, which is something I haven't done in the first part of the year.

"It's obviously been the secret I guess, so hopefully keep it going."

In outright second place is Canadian Michael Gligic, who also went bogey-free, draining seven birdies for his seven-under 64.

Vaughn Taylor and Christopher Gotterup are tied for third at six under, while the group of Ricky Barnes, Denny McCarthy, Chris Naegel and Dylan Frittelli sit tied for fifth at five under.

A log-jam at four under features Austria's Matthias Schwab, Canada's Adam Svensson and American Scott Stallings, while Australian Cam Davis and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo are one further shot back.

Cameron Champ and India's Anirban Lahiri are at two under, Maverick McNealy and Rory Sabbatini are one under, and Webb Simpson is the pick of the players at even par.

Emily Mayne and Mattea Issa topped their respective age groups as Jamaica enjoyed a good day two at the 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship being staged in Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

There will be some high-profile debutants when the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event to be staged in the United States starts on Thursday.

Three weeks after the inaugural LIV competition at the Centurion Club, near London, took place, 48 players have headed to Portland to tee off at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

A trio of major champions will appear in the controversial Saudi-backed breakaway league for the first time in Oregon.

Stats Perform takes a look at the standout new faces who have turned their back on the PGA Tour to make their bows in a three-day LIV Golf Invitational Portland tournament that consists of 12 teams.

 

BROOKS KOEPKA

Brooks Koepka is the biggest name to have signed up since his fellow Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson played in the opening event in England.

The four-time major winner will captain a SMASH GC side that includes his brother, Chase, this week.

Koepka had tried to fend off questions about whether he would jump ship from the PGA Tour to commit to LIV Golf ahead of the recent U.S. Open.

"I haven't given it that much thought," he said when asked if he could sign up for a lucrative deal to play on the new tour. "I don't understand. I'm trying to focus on the U.S. Open, man. I legitimately don't get it. You can’t drive a car looking in the rearview mirror, can you?"

Just a fortnight on, the former world number one said in a tense press conference two days before his LIV bow: "My opinion changed. That was it.

"You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation 'til everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out. Here I am."

He added: "Look, what I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realise, you know, I need a little bit more time off. I'll be the first one to say it, it's not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I'm 100 per cent before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away - that was a big thing for me."

 

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

Bryson DeChambeau is another major champion who has defected from the PGA Tour.

DeChambeau starts a new chapter of his career on the back of finishing tied for 56th in the U.S. Open, two years after winning it. 

The 28-year-old will also have captaincy duties, leading the CRUSHERS GC team.

DeChambeau has not registered a victory since his Arnold Palmer Invitational win last year and will be hoping a change of tour will enable him to experience that winning feeling again.

He said of his decision to join LIV Golf: "I understand people's decisions on their comments and whatnot. As it relates to me, I've personally made that as my own decision and I won't say anymore on that, there's no need. We're golfers at the end of the day.

"I think that I respect everyone's opinion. That's the most important thing people can hopefully understand out of me, that I do respect it. But golf is a force for good, and I think as time goes on, hopefully people will see the good that they're [LIV Golf] doing and what they're trying to accomplish, rather than look at the bad that's happened before. 

"I think moving on from that is important, and going, continuing to move forward in a positive light is something that can be a force for good for the future of the game."

PATRICK REED

The 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed will also get his first experience of the LIV Golf Invitational Series this week.

Another United States Ryder Cup player, Reed will be on a 4 ACES GC team captained by Johnson.

Reed's last victory came at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2021 and he was down in a share of 49th in the U.S Open.

The 31-year-old took aim at the PGA Tour this week, saying he is looking forward to having a reduced workload.

"Listen to the players for once," he said. "We actually have an off-season where not only can we get healthy, work on our bodies, but we're basically allowing ourselves throughout the year to, you know, try to peak at the right times is when you're playing rather than feeling like you have to play every single week.

"And on top of it, just the quality of life for us as players now, having less events, being able to spend more time at home with the family, if you have kids, being able to spend time with your children, and not sitting there and having to play three, four weeks in a row, then have a week off, and during that week off you're preparing trying to get ready for the next week."

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