Abraham Ancer of Mexico wins FedEx St Jude Invitational

Aug 8, 2021, 4:24 AM | Updated: 9:04 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — When Abraham Ancer glanced at the scoreboard midway through his final round of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational it was hard to imagine he’d be celebrating his first PGA Tour victory in a few hours.

Third-round leader Harris English was at 20 under. Ancer, playing the 10th hole, was five strokes behind at TOC Southwind.

“I said to (my caddie): `Harris is running away with it, I’ve got to make some birdies, I’ve got to make a move’,” Ancer said.

The 30-year-old Mexican player didn’t run off a string of birdies, but he played steady, bogey-free golf and won his first title — in his 121st start — beating Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns with a 6-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff.

“It was a dream come true to win on the PGA Tour,” Ancer said.

Ancer won the World Golf Championships event after Burns’ 5 1/2-foot putt — on the same line as Ancer — lipped out.

“This is surreal,” said Ancer, the former University of Oklahoma player who was born in McAllen, Texas. “I felt I left so many shots out there on the back nine, but you never know.”

Ancer became the fourth Mexican winner on the PGA Tour, following Victor Regalado, Cesar Sanudo and Carlos Ortiz, and the seventh player to win a WGC event for his first tour victory. He’s projected to jump to 10th in the world ranking.

Ancer, who finished second at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, played more aggressively on the second extra trip down the par-4 18th.

“I went right at it and the shot played perfectly in my mind and it came out just how I pictured it,” he said.

English, the leader after each of the first three rounds, faltered on the back nine to give Ancer, Burns and Matsuyama a chance.

English made a double-bogey 5 at No.11 after hitting his tee shot in the water.

“I played good on the front nine and just kind of hit a road bump on 11,” he said. “I got the wind (reading) wrong and it kind of went downhill from there.”

Ancer closed with a 2-under 68 to match Matsuyama and Burns at 16-under 264. Matsuyama shot a 63, and Burns had a 64. English, the 2013 champion at TPC Southwind, was a stroke back after a 73.

On the first extra hole, Ancer, Burns and Matsuyama, coming off a bronze-medal playoff loss in the Tokyo Olympics, made decent runs at birdies. Matsuyama had the shortest attempt — from 20 feet — and it nearly went in the cup before lipping out.

“It’s tough to lose in a playoff,” Matsuyama said. “but I wasn’t able to hit the fairway with either tee shot (in the playoff). I did my best.

English was seeking the fifth title of his career — and third this season — but collapsed on the back nine. Ahead by two strokes at 20 under at the turn, he played the back nine in 5 over. He missed a 13-foot birdie putt on 18.

Ancer only made one birdie on the back nine.

“It was definitely a surprise to win,” Ancer said. “I couldn’t believe I was tied for the lead on (No. 16). I thought I was four behind. But you never know in golf.”

Bryson DeChambeau, two strokes behind English after a third-round 63, had a 74 to tie for eighth at 12 under. He missed the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Referee assistant Stephanie Frappart of France shows 7 minutes overtime during the World Cup group ...
Associated Press

Frappart to make World Cup history as first woman referee

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — French referee Stéphanie Frappart will become the first woman to take charge of a men’s World Cup game when she handles Germany vs. Costa Rica on Thursday in Qatar. FIFA also picked two women as assistants to Frappart — Neuza Back of Brazil and Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina — to complete […]
1 day ago
Kraken Burakovsky...
Associated Press

Burakovsky’s OT goal gives Kraken wild 9-8 win over Kings

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andre Burakovsky had two goals, including the winner in overtime, and the Seattle Kraken defeated the Los Angeles Kings 9-8 on Tuesday night in the highest-scoring NHL game this season. Burakovsky scored on a power play at 2:08 of the extra session to give Seattle the first six-game winning streak in […]
1 day ago
Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin celebrates a goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the first...
Associated Press

Ovechkin tops Gretzky for most road goals, Caps beat Canucks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored twice, passing Wayne Gretzky for the most road goals in NHL history, and the Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 on Tuesday night. Ovechkin has scored 403 of his 793 career goals away from home. Gretzky holds the overall record with 894. “It’s always nice when […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

SIUE wins fifth straight game, beats St. Ambrose 89-54

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Terrance Thompson scored a career-high 15 points to lead SIU Edwardsville 89-54 on Tuesday night for its fifth straight win. Ray’Sean Taylor added 13 points, Lamar Wright 12 and Damarco Minor 10 for the Cougars (6-2). Amarey Wills scored 10 points to lead the Fighting Bees. ___ More AP college basketball: […]
1 day ago
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, left, makes a move under the basket against Los Angeles...
Associated Press

Powell scores 32 as Clippers rally past Blazers 118-112

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Norman Powell scored 22 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat Anfernee Simons and the Portland Trail Blazers 118-112 on Tuesday night. Reggie Jackson had 24 points and 12 assists, helping the Clippers to their second straight win. Ivica Zubac added 12 points and […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Morgan State defeats Virginia-Lynchburg 123-59

BALTIMORE (AP) — Malik Miller scored 26 points and Morgan State defeated Virginia University of Lynchburg on Tuesday night. Khalil Turner added 21 points and Isaiah Burke 20 for the Bears (3-5). Marcus Willis led the Dragons with 25 points. ___ More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Copyright © The Associated Press. […]
1 day ago
Abraham Ancer of Mexico wins FedEx St Jude Invitational