Mikko Korhonen into Race to Dubai top 20 after China Open triumph

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Mikko Korhonen clinched his second victory on the European Tour as he edged out Benjamin Hebert on the opening play-off hole at the Volvo China Open.

Nearly a year on from his win at the Shot Clock Masters in Austria, Korhonen carded seven birdies in his closing six-under-par 66 to draw level with Hebert, who held a three-shot lead overnight.

The pair could not be split on 20 under after 72 holes but it was Korhonen who held his nerve when they played the 18th again, the Finn sinking an 11-foot putt for birdie as his French opponent could only make par.

“It’s amazing. I don’t know how I did it, probably the putter today and most of the days,” said Korhonen, who collects 585 Race to Dubai points to surge from 98th to 17th on the Race to Dubai standings.

“All day it was a battle, everybody was making putts. I had to just stay there and make my putts and just concentrate on the moment.”

Four birdies on the back nine ignited the 38-year-old’s charge and even took him into the lead, only for Hebert to force a play-off with two birdies in the final three holes in his final round of 69.

Korhonen and Hebert finished one shot ahead of Spain’s Jorge Campillo, their third playing partner on Sunday, at Genzon Golf Club while home hope Li Haotong came fourth on 16 under overall.

England’s Jordan Smith made back-to-back gains at the end of his round to finish alongside four others on 15 under while Scotland’s Richie Ramsay was three shots further back in a share of 14th.

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Nuria Iturrios clinches Dubai Moonlight Classic title

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Spain’s Nuria Iturrios claimed back-to-back wins on the Ladies European Tour with victory in the inaugural Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic.

Just five days after winning the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco for the second time, Iturrios carded a closing 71 at Emirates Golf Club to finish on 10 under par, a shot ahead of the German pair of Esther Henseleit and Olivia Cowan.

“It’s amazing to win again and I’m so excited,” said Iturrios, who became the first player to capture consecutive titles since Aditi Ashok at the Indian and Qatar Opens in 2016.

“It was so cool. I loved playing in the first day-night tournament and I hope to come back next year.”

Iturrios began the final round tied for the lead but after moving three clear following birdies on the second and third, a bogey on the sixth and double bogey on the seventh dropped her into a tie with Ireland’s Leona Maguire.

However, the 23-year-old regained the lead with a birdie on the ninth and also birdied the 10th and 14th before holding her nerve on the closing stretch to complete a hard-fought win.

Maguire, who held a two-shot lead after an opening course-record 64, remained in contention following a birdie on the 11th but dropped a shot on the next and also bogeyed the 18th to finish in a tie for fifth.

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Tiger Woods to play in PGA Tour's first-ever event in Japan

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Masters champion Tiger Woods will compete in Japan for the first time in more than a decade after committing to play in the inaugural ZOZO Championship.

The ZOZO Championship is the first official PGA Tour event to be staged in Japan and will take place from October 24-27 at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club outside Tokyo.

Woods wrote on Twitter: “I’m excited to play in the inaugural ZOZO Championship in October and return to Japan, one of my favourite countries. It’s going to be a fun fall (autumn).”

The 43-year-old made his last appearance in Japan in 2006 when he lost a play-off to Padraig Harrington in the Dunlop Phoenix, having won the title the previous two years.

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