Shaun Norris overcame fellow South African Dean Burmester to clinch the Steyn City Championship title.

Norris ultimately won his first DP World Tour (or European Tour) title by three shots, though he had to come from behind to do so.

Having seen the four-shot lead he held overnight reduced by a poor start, which included two bogeys on the front nine, Norris dropped two strokes back as Burmester rallied with two birdies and an eagle.

Yet Norris was in no mood to let the opportunity of winning the first title of the new event slip from his grasp and he birdied three of the next six holes to haul himself level at the top of the leaderboard.

That pressure told as Burmester hit a double bogey on the 17th, after Norris had birdied, and a composed par on the final hole sealed a closing round of 70 for the champion, who finished the week on 25 under par.

"I don't think words can describe how I feel right now," said Norris, who shared his victory with his family on the 18th green.

"It's been a tough journey and having my brother on the bag, my wife here, my little girl. Splendid. It's absolutely beautiful doing this in front of my home crowd and in front of my family."

Norris' nine previous professional wins had come on the Japan Tour, Sunshine Tour and the Asian Tour.

Burmester was three clear of compatriot Oliver Bekker and Germany's Matti Schmid, who were tied for third on 19 under.

Davis Riley has a two-stroke lead heading into the last round of the PGA Valspar Championship at Copperhead after a stunning nine under on Saturday.

Riley's score of 62 came just one day after Matthew NeSmith shot a 10-under-61 to break the Copperhead course record and claim the lead after the second round.

It is Riley's second score of 62 this tournament after also managing it in the first round, going bogey-less this time around.

On three separate occasions Riley birdied consecutive holes, starting on fire with birdies on the first and second, as well as the sixth and seventh, and holes 13 and 14.

Nobody is within a stroke of Riley's 18 under, with NeSmith outright second on 16 under, while there is a two-man tie for third as Justin Thomas' third consecutive 66 pulled him level with defending champion Sam Burns on 15 under.

It looked like it was going to be Burns' day early on as he pursued back-to-back titles at Innisbrook, nabbing an eagle on the first hole and a birdie on the second before a bogey on the third brought him back to earth.

Matthew NeSmith tied the Copperhead course record at Innisbrook with a 10-under 61, setting up a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Valspar Championship.

NeSmith finished on 14-under-par after rolling through the opening nine at Copperhead, notching up six birdies.

The highlight, however, was his eagle on the par-five 14th hole, before closing out the round. His 61 tied the course record set by Padraig Harrington in 2012.

He also broke the 36-hole record at the Valspar Championship that Sam Burns and Keegan Bradley set a year ago.

Defending champion Burns remains in contention, recovering from a bogey on the par-five 11th to also post an eagle on the 14th, and finish on four-under-par for the day.

He and Scott Stallings are three strokes behind NeSmith on 11-under-par.

Adam Hadwin sits alone on 12-under-par after he finished Friday with a five-under-par 66. The Canadian's lone victory on the PGA Tour came at Innisbrook in 2017.

Meanwhile, Justin Thomas sits at 10-under-par, bouncing back from a double bogey on the par-four seventh to post an eventual five-under-par 66.

Following wild weather in Florida, which caused scheduling havoc at The Players Championship at Sawgrass last weekend, the greens at Innisbrook have responded well.

According to Thomas, it influenced him taking needless risk on that seventh hole.

"I should have just tried to hit it in the front bunker and it was a pretty easy up-and-down," he said.

"As good as I felt with my putter, I felt like if I got it on the green, I could make a three. But it wasn't necessary. It just didn't really need to happen."

Defending champion Sam Burns is one of four players to score a seven-under-par 64, after the first round of play at the Valspar Championship on Thursday.

The world number eight had a busy round on the opening day, with nine birdies and two bogeys. He recovered well after bogey the par-four 16th and reeled off birdies on the final two holes to close out his opening 18 holes.

Following a chaotic weekend at The Players Championship, the Florida weather had a positive effect on the Copperhead course, with Burns reaping the benefits from facilitative greens.

"The greens are really receptive with the rain we’ve gotten last week," he told reporters following his round.

"Yeah, I think the golf course will continue to firm up after we get some sun and wind and I think it’s going to play really well the next few days."

Burns, David Lipsky, Adam Hadwin and Jhonattan Vegas share the lead at Copperhead after the first day of play.

Scott Stallings, Richy Werenski, Davis Riley and Danny Lee are one back at six under, while Justin Thomas, Kramer Hickok and Doc Redman are a further two strokes back.

After missing the cut at TPC Sawgrass, Jason Day opened with a one-under-70, only two weeks after the passing of mother.

Notable names in group at four under include Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Louis Oosthuizen.

Out of the co-leaders, though, Lipsky was the only one to go bogey-free, opening with a birdie on the par-five first to set the tone on a confident front nine. He closed out the round with four consecutive pars.

The 33-year-old has never won on the PGA Tour and has not won an event since his time on the European Tour in 2018.

The new Saudi Arabia-backed golf competition has announced a series of tournaments that will begin in England in June, the event offering a record $25million (£19.1m) purse.

A number of high-profile players were said to have been targeted by organisers of the lucrative breakaway league from the PGA Tour, including Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy.

But most of golf's stars, including the trio, denounced the proposal, which appeared to fade away after widespread condemnation and ridicule.

However, the LIV Golf Invitational - headed by chief executive Greg Norman - has been announced and is being regarded as the first form of a breakaway Super Golf League.

The new series will include eight 54-hole events across Europe, America and Asia, with the first tournament set to take place at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire from 9-11 June, the week before the US Open.

There will be $25m on offer at the inaugural event, $5m more than the record $20m purse at last week's Players Championship, which Cameron Smith won on Monday.

No players have been announced as competing in the breakaway league yet, but the PGA and Europe's DP World Tours have threatened defectors to the new league with lifetime bans.

"In year one, there will be a max of 48 players on 12 four-man teams and a truly global field with golfers invited from all tours around the world to beta test the new format," said a statement from the organisers.

"Each event will have teams comprised of different players determined by a draft the week of the event."

Norman added: "Our events are truly additive to the world of golf. We have done our best to create a schedule that allows players to play elsewhere, while still participating in our events.

"I believe players will increasingly make progress in achieving their right to play where they want. We will help in any way possible and will provide golfers with opportunities to achieve their full potential."

The tournaments will have no cuts and all competitors will start simultaneously, with the season-ending eighth event set to offer an even larger reward.

"Total prize purse for the eight events will reach an unprecedented $255m," the statement continued. 

"The first seven regular-season events will carry a total purse of $25m comprised of $20m in individual prizes (all players in the field earn a share) and $5m for the top three teams.

"Following the first seven events, an individual champion will be crowned offering a total purse of $30m for the top three individuals of the season.

"The season-ending eighth event will be a team championship that will provide $50m in total prize funds."

Henrik Stenson will be Europe's captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup, the team announced on Tuesday.

A veteran of five Ryder Cup appearances, Stenson has helped Europe to three successes over the United States in the biennial tournament.

The 45-year-old takes the helm from Padraig Harrington, who presided over Europe's record 19-9 loss to the States at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin last year.

Stenson made his Ryder Cup debut 16 years ago at the K Club in Ireland, clinching the decisive point in a 18.5-9.5 victory for Europe – he also contributed to the successes in 2014 at Gleneagles and four years later at Le Golf National, France.

Having become Sweden's first male major winner at the 145th Open in 2016, Stenson will now also be the first Swede to captain Europe.

Stenson was chosen by a five-man panel that included the three most recent European captains before him, and he was understandably honoured to get such an opportunity.

"I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to be the European Ryder Cup captain – it is a huge honour and I was humbled to get the call confirming the news," he said.

"I would like to thank the selection panel for believing in me and will say to them, and every European golf fan, that I will do everything in my power and leave no stone unturned in the quest to get the Ryder Cup back in European hands.

"The Ryder Cup is golf, and sport, at its very best. I got goosebumps every time I pulled on a European shirt as a player and that will be magnified in the role of captain.

"While it is great for me personally, it is also great for my country and all the players from Sweden who have played for Europe with such distinction since Joakim Haeggman became the first in 1993.

"When I started out as a professional golfer, it was beyond my wildest dreams that, one day, I would follow in the footsteps of legends of the game such as Seve [Ballesteros] and be the European Ryder Cup captain. But today proves that, sometimes, dreams do come true."

The 2023 Ryder Cup will be held at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome between September 29 and October 1 next year.

Stenson and his 12-man team will go up against the roster assembled by Zach Johnson, who was named the USA's skipper at the end of February.

Cameron Smith was not even prioritising golf in the lead-up to The Players Championship, where he carded 10 birdies in the final round to claim the largest purse in PGA Tour history.

The Australian finished one shot clear of Indian Anirban Lahiri, with England's Paul Casey in third, taking home a winner's cheque of $3.6million in the process.

The 28-year-old spoke with NBC Sport's broadcast after walking off the final green and ended up fighting back tears as he discussed the challenges of spending so much time away from his family and friends.

"[The win] is huge –  it's going to take a while to sink in I think," he said.

"It's cool being here in Jacksonville – I live here now, I call this place home and I had a lot of fans out there rooting for me today.

"I haven't seen [my family] in two years, it's really cool to have them here. 

"My main priority really was just to hang out with them, and golf was second for these few weeks, so it's nice to see them – and nice to get a win for them."

Smith only ended the day with four pars after what was a wild round.

But while other parts of his game may have been erratic, Smith was thankful he could rely on his putting to get himself out of some tricky situations, before touching on his remarkable tee-shot on the 17th.

"[Putting] was probably the big key for me today – it kept me in it," he added.

"I obviously made plenty of birdies, and I had to make a lot of good par puts at the end. 

"It's definitely the strength of my game, and sometimes I lean on it too much, but it's nice to see them go in.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't push [the tee-shot on 17] a little bit. 

"I was trying to hit it over the bunker there and hold it up against the wind, and the wind didn't really do much for three-quarters of the shot, but it held it up right at the end there – that was just awesome."

Cameron Smith claimed the biggest victory of his career and heftiest purse in golf as he won The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass despite a tense finish.

It was an action-packed final day for the tour's most-famous mullet, finishing with only four pars from his 18 holes on his way to a final score of 13 under for the tournament.

Smith started like a house on fire, birdieing the first four holes of the day and also the sixth, before things started to go awry with bogeys on the final three holes of the front nine.

Undeterred, Smith responded with another streak of four successive birdies to open up the back-nine, resulting in a multi-stroke lead with five holes to play.

On the famous 17th, Smith admitted he pushed his shot well right of his intended target, but it landed within one yard of the hole for a tap-in, taking a three-stroke lead.

However, the contest was far from over. Anirban Lahiri also birdied the 17th, trimming the margin to two with one hole to play.

It was a horror start to the last for Smith, spraying his drive into the trees before his recovery shot back towards the fairway ran all the way into the water.

Needing a clutch chip to put himself in a position to save a bogey, Smith delivered, again landing within one yard of the hole and tapping in for a final-round 66.

Trailing by one stroke, Lahiri needed a birdie on the par-four last to force a playoff, but his second shot failed to make the green and he ultimately settled for par and a second-place finish.

Two-time major champion Dustin Johnson responded to a disappointing 76 in the third round to post a nine-under 63 – three strokes better than the trio of Smith, Max Homa and Rory McIlroy with 66.

In a day to forget, world number one Jon Rahm posted an eye-watering five-over nine on the par-four fourth hole, going on to finish with a final-round 77, tying for 55th.

For the win, Smith nets $3.6million – the biggest winner's purse in PGA Tour history – while Lahiri takes home over $2.1m in second, and Paul Casey collects nearly $1.4m in third.

Shane Lowry made the biggest noise at TPC Sawgrass, even though Anirban Lahiri leads The Players Championship after the close of play on Sunday.

The Irishman hit a hole-in-one on the notorious par-three island green 17th hole, using a pitching wedge and getting the ball past the pin, before rolling back and dropping in.

The 2019 Open Championship winner came into the third round at one-under par, and bogeyed the par-five 11th before birdieing the 14th and 16th in a chaotic back nine.

After holing from the tee on the 17th, Lowry celebrated wildly with playing partner and Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter, proceeding to throw his ball into the crowd.

It was a stark contrast to the norm on the 17th, made even more treacherous with a stiff headwind, with Brooks Keopka and Collin Morikawa among those to put shots into the water.

On another weather-interrupted day, Lahiri leads the pack, managing to finish 11 holes on nine-under par overall as darkness descended on Sawgrass. The world number 322 bogeyed the first hole of the back nine, but steadied to birdie the par-five 11th.

Stormy weather in the Florida region has wreaked havoc on scheduling and bad light eventually stopped play on Sunday. The third round will finish on Monday, with all players at least managing to finish nine holes.

Tom Hoge and Harold Varner III are currently one shot back from Lahiri on eight-under par. Hoge bounced back from a bogey on the sixth, birdieing on the par-five ninth hole to close out his Sunday.

Sebastian Munoz, Paul Casey and Sam Burns are tied at seven-under overall, with Francesco Molinary, Daniel Berger, Camero Smith and Doug Ghim one further stroke back. at six-under overall.

With the second round finishing early on Sunday, Rory McIlroy only just managed to make the cut at two-over par. Driving into the water on the 16th, pars on the final two holes saved him, as two balls into the water from Scott Piercy on the 17th and missed the cut.

Having also just made the cut after 36 holes, FedExCup leader Scottie Scheffler is at one-over par, birdieing the par-five 16th to finish nine holes for the third round.

Pablo Larrazabal won a three-way play-off against Adri Arnaus and Jordan Smith to claim his sixth title on the DP World Tour, winning the Pecanwood Classic in South Africa on Sunday.

The Spaniard finished at 22 under after carding a 67 in the final round at Pecanwood Golf and Country Club in Hartbeespoort, and he was joined on that 72-hole score by countryman Arnaus and Englishman Smith. Arnaus also finished with a 67, while Smith shot a closing 65.

Larrazabal held his nerve to see off Arnaus in an initial run down the 18th hole, before capitalising on an error from Smith off the tee the second time around to make a winning birdie putt.

"What a day," Larrazabal said on the DP World Tour website. "I felt great this morning. It was one of those days where you just feel great and you know you’re going to have a chance. I started fast to get into the lead very quick."

It marks a first win on the tour for the 38-year-old since he claimed the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2019.

The circuit remains in South Africa now for next weekend's Steyn City Championship, before moving on to Qatar for the rearranged Qatar Masters.

Defending champion Justin Thomas and Bubba Watson managed to shoot bogey-free rounds on Saturday at The Players Championship, despite heavy winds.

The duo became the 36-hole clubhouse leaders at three under, but Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge remained at the top of the leaderboard.

Fleetwood only played three holes of his second round on Saturday while Hoge did not even start his before bad light suspended the day's action again.

Stormy weather in the Florida region in the past few days lead to many competitors only finishing their openings rounds on Saturday.

Further weather disruption meant play did not start until midday local time, with 47 players finally completing their opening rounds in the first two hours.

Fleetwood remained at six over par after recording a birdie and a bogey in his three holes, level with Hoge and one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann, Keith Mitchell and Anirban Lahiri, all tied for third at five under.

Thomas, who won last year's event, carded a three-under 69 to move up to joint-15th place after an even par 72 in his first round, while Watson played himself back into contention with the best second-round score so far of 68 to match Thomas overall on three under.

Dustin Johnson shot 73 in his second round to move to two under, tied for 23rd, while last year's runner-up Lee Westwood will miss the cut after a dismal round of 80 saw him nine over after two rounds.

Brooks Koepka had an even worse day, carding 81 to also sit at nine over, while Rory McIlroy was able to finally complete his first round for 73, before going back out and hitting the same score again, including a double-bogey at the seventh, to leave himself two over.

The par-three 17th was proving particularly tricky in the high winds, with 29 balls finding the water on Saturday, while just four had suffered the same fate in the previous two days. McIlroy said afterwards: "Basically, the green's a big massive dartboard, and you're like, just hit it anywhere on there."

Weather permitting, play is due to resume at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday at 8:15am local time.

The Players Championship could drag into Tuesday due to bad weather at TPC Sawgrass, tournament chief referee Gary Young has said.

Five hours of play was lost on day one on Thursday and the 49th edition of the competition in Florida was further disrupted on Friday.

Play was initially suspended at 11:15 local time before round one could be completed, with confirmation following that it would not resume until at least 11:00 on Saturday.

A Monday finish now seems a likely outcome, though the event may yet stretch into a sixth day. 

"The potential is there. The potential, but let's hope not," Young said at a news conference.

"I think everything that we're looking at, we feel very confident that we can finish this tournament by Monday."

More thunderstorms, rain and strong wind is forecast for Saturday, forcing tournament officials to put contingency plans in place.

"We're going to make some adjustments to prepare for that overnight," Young added.

"The superintendent and his crew are going to need proper time to pick up debris, get the golf course back in condition. So there's a lot of variables involved. 

"I'm talking a little bit about scenarios down the road, but I want to be careful about too many expectations.

"It is highly, highly unusual to have this [weather] pattern for this prolonged period at this time of the year, looking back at the historical data on it. It's just bad luck."

Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge lead at six under par after finishing their rounds as scheduled on Thursday.

Brice Garnett also reached six under with five holes to complete once play resumes.

The likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson are among those yet to complete their first rounds.

Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Hoge shared the lead at the end of Thursday at The Players Championship, but the pair had not yet seen all of their challengers in action.

Dismal weather in Florida pushed back the start to the opening round and then further delays followed, with heavy rainfall and storms in the area hampering the tournament.

Fleetwood and Hoge were the players best able to negotiate the tricky conditions, although others were yet to start at the close of play.

Big names including Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson were still early in their rounds when play was suspended due to darkness.

Fleetwood, who missed the cut last year after top-10 finishes at The Players in 2018 and 2019, started a little slowly on the back nine but found his rhythm at the turn.

Seven birdies and a bogey saw the Englishman card a six-under 66, which was matched by Hoge – who also started on the back nine – after his eagle at the par-five second.

"For sure, that was the most I could have got out of the round," Fleetwood said. "So, days like that are very, very pleasing."

It could still have been a three-way tie at the top, with Saudi International champion Harold Varner III denied at least a share of the lead by a late-round collapse.

After seven birdies through 16 holes, including five on the back nine, Varner became the first player to find the water at the 17th and signed for a triple-bogey.

That was followed by a bogey at the last that left him three adrift of Fleetwood and Hoge.

"That's what you get a lot out here," Varner said. "Either you get it done or you don't."

Dustin Johnson has paid tribute to Tiger Woods ahead his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, saying everyone wanted to be like the 15-time major champion when growing up.

Woods is to be inducted at the PGA Tour headquarters in Florida on Wednesday alongside former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, four-time major winner Susie Maxwell and course developer and architect Marion Hollins.

The 46-year-old has won 82 times on the PGA Tour in his illustrious career, while his 15 majors is second only to Jack Nicklaus, who has 18.

Johnson, who has 28 professional wins to his name, including triumphs at the US Open in 2016 and Masters in 2020, credited Woods with helping to grow the game into a "cool" sport.

"Tiger obviously was huge for the game of golf and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," Johnson said at a news conference ahead of The Players Championship, which begins on Thursday.

"For me growing up as a kid, even when I was in high school, golf was still kind of not really considered a cool sport to play. 

"Maybe not that many people played it, and especially in high school you kind of were a dork if you played golf.

"But Tiger made it actually a cool sport to play. For me, it was huge. Obviously at that time it was when he was in his prime, so watching him, everybody wanted to be like Tiger.

"He was a huge part of me playing golf and wanting to get out on Tour and play against him."

Johnson has registered just one top-10 finish in 12 previous appearances at TPC Sawgrass, when finishing in a tie for fifth in 2019.

PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan has joked that Rory McIlroy has been "suspended" following comments he made calling for more transparency from the governing body.

The Northern Irishman said on Tuesday that the PGA Tour needs to be less of a "closed shop", with criticism around transparency on topics such as fines, suspensions and the vote for the player of the year.

McIlroy currently sits as one of four player directors on the Tour's policy board and prompted a sarcastic response from Monahan.

“I would just say, effective immediately, Rory McIlroy is suspended," the commissioner joked.

Monahan added: "Rory is a member of our policy board. He's a player director. That's something that has been raised in the past, and if that's something that a member of our board feels strongly about, rest assured it's a conversation we'll have with our Player Advisory Council and ultimately our board.

"That's the way the system works. It's a criticism that has been lobbied against the PGA Tour through the years, and I think we always have to be open to evolving. That's something that we are open to."

Monahan also revealed that he has not spoken to six-time major winner Phil Mickelson since facing a major backlash and taking time off from the game after comments he made about a proposed Saudi Arabia-backed Super Golf League.

Mickelson claimed the Super Golf League could provide players with "leverage" as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to "reshape how the PGA Tour operates".

Monahan said the ball was in Mickelson's court on whether he returned to the tour, although he declined to confirm if he had been suspended for his comments.

"I have not talked to Phil since he made his comments and since he said that he was stepping away. Like I said, I think the ball is in his court. I would welcome a phone call from him," Monahan said.

"But it's hard for me to talk about the different scenarios that could play out. Listen, he's a player that's won 45 times on the PGA Tour. He's had a Hall of Fame career.

"He's won here at The Players Championship. He's inspired a lot of people and helped grow this Tour, his Tour.

"So as difficult as it is to read some of the things that were said, ultimately a conversation will be had when he's ready to have it, and I will be ready to have it, as well."  

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