Si Woo Kim wins in Hawaii, Continental Europe takes Hero Cup

Si Woo Kim holds the champions trophy after the final round of the Sony Open golf tournament, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.  (AP Photo/Matt York)

Si Woo Kim holds the champions trophy after the final round of the Sony Open golf tournament, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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Si Woo Kim brought a sleepy Sony Open to life Sunday with a birdie-birdie finish that gave him a 6-under 64 and a one-shot victory over Hayden Buckley.

Kim, who started the day three shots behind, finally caught up late in the round. But then Buckley holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to regain the lead, and Kim was in the group ahead of him in the rough just over the green at the par-3 17th.

Kim heard the cheer from Buckley’s birdie, and then produced a moment of his own. He chipped in from just under 30 feet to tie Buckley again.

On the par-5 closing hole, Kim’s shot from 236 yards in a fairway bunker tumbled across the dry, fast turf of Waialae Country Club and onto the green. He took two putts from 40 feet for birdie, and then had to wait.

Buckley’s approach from the right collar came out flat and to the right, leaving a tough pitch up the slope to a pin in the back right. It rolled out some 12 feet, and the birdie putt to force a narrowly missed playoff.

Kim won for the fourth time on the PGA Tour, his first since The American Express in the California desert two years ago. He finished at 18-under 262 after a 64-64 weekend.

EUROPEAN TOUR

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Continental Europe won the Hero Cup by beating Britain & Ireland 14½-10½ on Sunday, with Francesco Molinari, Victor Perez and Nicolai Hojgaard among those to star for the victorious team and push their credentials for the Ryder Cup.

The renewal of the competition — formerly called The Seve Trophy — is giving European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald a chance to assess players under match-play pressure ahead of the contest with the United States outside Rome in September.

Continental Europe led 8 1/2-6 1/2 after Saturday’s foursomes and dominated the singles, starting with Molinari — the victorious captain — taking down Shane Lowry, the highest-ranked player in the event, in the first match with a 3&2 win .

Molinari finished with 3 1/2 points like Perez, who beat Jordan Smith 4&2, and Hojgaard, who had a 1-up win over Seamus Power.

Continental Europe’s win was confirmed by Adrien Meronk’s 1-up win over Callum Shinkwin, ensuring the team reached 13 points — the target needed for victory.

LATIN AMERICA AMATEUR

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (AP) — Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira made two straight birdies to turn away his last challenge and closed with a 5-under 67 on Sunday to win the Latin America Amateur Championship, earning a spot in three majors this year.

Fernandez de Oliveira, the second Argentine to win since the Latin America Amateur began in 2015, broke the 72-hole scoring record of Joaquin Niemann by eight shots. He finished at 23-under 265.

The senior at Arkansas atoned for last year, when he missed a playoff by one shot at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.

Fernandez de Oliveira was staked to a four-shot lead at the start of the final round at Grand Reserve. Luis Carrera of Mexico, who also closed with a 67, managed to get within two shots. But the Argentine birdied the 11th and 12th holes, and a steady diet of pars was enough for him.

The victory sends him to the Masters in April and to Los Angeles Country Club in June for the US Open and to Royal Liverpool for the British Open in July.

Carrera was awarded an exemption to the final stages of qualifying for the US Open and British Open as the runner-up.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

This story was originally published January 15, 2023 6:20 PM.

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