GOLF

Sungjae Im, the 21-year-old South Korean, started fast and finished stronger Sunday, winning The Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, by one shot over Mackenzie Hughes and Tommy Fleetwood for his first career PGA Tour victory in his 50th attempt.

Im shot a 4-under 66 on Sunday, finishing at 6 under to match the second-highest winning score since the Honda moved to PGA National in 2007. He was the tour’s rookie of the year last season, plus has played more tournaments and more rounds than anyone since the 2018-19 season began nearly a year and a half ago.

And now, he’s a winner – the seventh from South Korea to win on tour, and the Honda’s 10th international champion in the last 16 seasons. He’s also the fifth player to get that first win at PGA National in the Honda, joining Keith Mitchell in 2019, Michael Thompson in 2013, Y.E. Yang in 2009 and Mark Wilson in 2007.

Im birdied four of his first five holes, then birdied two of the final four to finish off the victory and pick up $1.26 million.

Hughes, a Canadian who made the cut on the number Friday, shot his second consecutive 66. Playing alongside Im, he was part of some serious fireworks on the last two holes and missed a birdie putt at the par-5 finishing hole that would have gotten him into a tie for the top spot.

EUROPEAN: Sami Valimaki overcame difficult conditions to win the Oman Open after beating South African Brandon Stone in a playoff at Muscat, Oman.

Valimaki and Stone finished tied at 13-under 275 after both shot 2-under 70s in the final round on a gusty day. Both made par on the first two extra holes before Stone faltered with a bogey on their third time around. Valimaki held his nerve to make par and claim his first career tour victory.

CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer took another step closer to the PGA Tour Champions victory record by closing with an 8-under 65 to turn a four-shot deficit into at two-shot win in the Cologuard Classic at Tucson, Arizona.

Langer was flawless until the the final hole at Tucson National. He made nine birdies in 17 holes to seize control, and he wound up two shots ahead of Woody Austin.

Langer won for the 41st time on the 50-and-older circuit. Hale Irwin holds the PGA Tour Champions record with 45 victories, the last one coming in 2007.

BASEBALL

MAJORS: New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is scheduled to have additional tests Monday as the team tries to pinpoint the cause of soreness in his right shoulder.

Judge underwent an MRI Saturday, which was negative.

SOCCER

LEAGUE CUP: Manchester City won the League Cup for a third consecutive season by beating Aston Villa 2-1 at London, providing the club with a moment of celebration as it fights to protect its reputation off the field.

MLS: Jordan Morris scored two second-half goals, the second in the third minute of stoppage time, and the Seattle Sounders opened their MLS Cup defense with a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire at Seattle.

OLYMPICS

SNOWBOARDING: Shaun White, the three-time snowboarding champion, told The Associated Press that he is taking skateboarding off his plate and won’t try to qualify for that sport’s Olympic debut later this year in Tokyo.

White, who for years was every bit as successful a skateboarder as a snowboarder, had been dangling the possibility of joining the rare group of athletes to compete in both Winter and Summer Games.

HORSE RACING

SANTA ANITA: A ninth horse has died at Santa Anita since late December after being injured in a turf race.

Chosen Vessel broke his left front ankle in the $59,000 race on Saturday. He was pulled up by jockey Edwin Maldonado as he approached the far turn in the 1 1/8-mile race.

The 5-year-old gelding trained by Craig Dollase was taken to the track’s equine hospital for diagnostics and X-rays. According to an incident report from the track, the tests revealed it was an unrecoverable injury and the attending veterinarian recommended the horse be euthanized.

CYCLING

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Emma Hinze of Germany and Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands put a fitting bow on the final day of the track cycling world championships, the last major event for their sport ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Hinze won her third gold medal by holding off the field from the front in the keirin, making it a clean sweep for the host nation in the women’s sprinting events at the Berlin Velodrome. And Lavreysen won his third gold in the sprint to give the Dutch team a table-leading six gold medals and nine total over the course of the five-day event.

SKIING

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Heavy snowfall caused the cancellation of the women’s Alpine combined race at La Thuile, Italy, reducing the number of races left for the season to seven.

The international ski federation said the event could not be staged “due to heavy snowfall and the huge amount of snow on the course,” adding that the race will not be rescheduled.

Next week’s GS and slalom in Ofterschwang had already been called off without replacement because of a lack of snow at the German venue.

The women’s World Cup now enters a 12-day break until a parallel slalom in Are on March 13.

MEN’S WORLD CUP: Alexis Pinturault dominated the last men’s Alpine combined race of the season at Hintersloder, Austria, to win his fourth career discipline title in style.

Pinturault positioned himself for the triumph by finishing second in a shortened super-G portion in the morning of a cloudy day in Upper Austria.

Pinturault comfortably wrapped up the victory in the concluding slalom.


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