By Jay Betsill
Charley Hoffman closed with a 5-under 66 (-17 for the week) and in the process rallied from a three-shot deficit to win the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, the final PGA Tour event of the calendar year. The victory was Hoffman’s third career win on the PGA Tour and ensures his qualifying for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua and the Masters.
“It was really nice to see them run out on the green and see the excitement on their face,” said Hoffman, as his wife and two daughters joined him to celebrate the win. “We have been talking about it for a while. It’s a little bit longer than I anticipated, but it’s nice to finally get it done.”
Shawn Stefani finished one shot back at -16 followed by Danny Lee and Andres Gonzales at -15. Notables in the field included Ken Duke (T9, -11), Fred Funk (T9, -11), Johnson Wagner (T16, -10), Robert Streb (T37, -7), defending champion Harris English (T37, -7), Ben Curtis (T44, -6) and two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (T65, -1).
After a break for a few weeks, the next big golf event will be the Hero World Challenge, aka Tiger Woods’ tournament. The event has moved from its longtime home at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks to Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windermere FL and will air Dec. 4-7 on Golf Channel.
— Rory McIlroy has won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, besting Henrik Stenson. It is the second time in three years that the 25-year-old Northern Irishman has won the money list title in Europe.
“Winning it for the first time two years ago was a fantastic feeling, but I feel like I’m now a more complete player and my all-round game has moved to another level,” McIlroy said in a statement released by the European Tour.
McIlroy will return to competition for next week’s European Tour season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
— Brooks Koepka won this weekend’s Turkish Airlines Open for his first European Tour title. The young American rallied from a two-shot deficit to best England’s Ian Poulter by one shot. The win will move Koepka inside the top 40 in the Official World Golf Rankings and earns him an invitation to play in the Masters.
“I feel like I’ve been playing really well and I’ve been knocking on the door, and these last maybe two, three months, I’ve been very close over here and in the States,” Koepka said. “I also felt like I should have won a couple. But I’ve been knocking on the door and I’ve learned something every time, and used that today. I was very relaxed, very calm today. It showed I guess.”
— John Daly thinks the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain should be either Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods.
“I don’t know where they’re going with a task force, I really don’t, as they should just go ahead and pick a captain,” Daly told the media at the Turkish Airlines Open. “Phil Mickelson should be the next captain and play at Hazeltine. Phil seems to thrive on Ryder Cup competition, does well when he plays. He knows everything about the Ryder Cup, so maybe it should be him or Tiger who should be the next captain. We’ve had playing captains over the years, so why not in 2016?”