LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — American Pat Perez won the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic, claiming a four-shot victory over compatriot Keegan Bradley on Sunday at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

He sealed his first title in almost a year despite carding a modest three-under 69 in the final round, courtesy of a strong start with three birdies in the first four holes.

The 41-year-old only managed to make par on the back nine, but did enough to finish the tournament with a 24-under 264 to take home the $1.26 million prize purse and 500 FedEX Cup points.

Victory also earned him an automatic entry for next year’s Masters in April.

Perez’s feat comes after a long recovery from a shoulder injury last year that threatened to derail his career.

The bulky golfer admitted he never expected to reign supreme in the sweltering conditions in Kuala Lumpur.

“Unreal. I think I’m the last guy that expected to win this week, to be honest with you. I did not think I was going to win this week,” Perez said. “I really can’t explain it, it’s been an amazing 12 months. I can’t explain it, but I hope it continues.”

Perez also confirmed he’ll be back to defend his title next year.

“I’ll be here every year. Every year of the tournament, I’ll be here. It’s been very good to me. The tournament’s been fantastic,” he said.

Bradley took home the runner-up spot after he carded an unblemished five-under 67 to finish at 20-under 268.

Xander Schauffele, who started the round in second place, faltered with four bogeys to finish tied-third alongside South Korea’s Kang Sunghoon at 17 under.

Defending champion American Justin Thomas finished tied for 17th place.

Thomas had been in terrific form coming into the event, but failed to lift his game in his mission for a “three-peat.”

“I was definitely low on gas. It’s been a great but long year, for sure,” Thomas said.

LPGA

South Korean Jin Young Ko overcame a sluggish start to clinch her first LPGA Tour victory at the KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.

Ko, who had been two strokes in front overnight, bogeyed two of the first three holes at the Ocean Course before carding six birdies for a 68 and a 19-under total of 269.

Sung Hyun Park, seeking her third LPGA Tour victory of the year and the chance to take over at the top of the Rolex Rankings for the first time, was denied both goals after closing with a 68 and finishing two shots behind Ko.

Park played flawless golf over the first 13 holes with four birdies, but a three-putt bogey at the 14th effectively halted her title bid.

Champions

At Cary, N.C., Colin Montgomerie earned his second PGA Tour Champions victory in five weeks, with a three-stroke win at the SAS Championship.

Montgomerie shot a bogey-free, 8-under 64 in his final round at Prestonwood Country Club.

He earned $315,000 for his sixth career victory on the 50-and-over tour, and improved two spots to No. 7 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings in the tour’s regular-season finale.

The 54-year-old Scot finished at 16-under 200. He won the tour’s first-ever event in Japan — the Japan Airlines Championship — last month. The Hall of Famer won 31 times on the European Tour and topped the tour’s money list a record eight times — seven in a row from 1993-99 and the last in 2005.

Vijah Singh and Doug Garwood each shot 66 and tied for second at 13-under 203. Corey Pavin was one stroke behind them after his 67.

Europe

At Monza, Italy, Tyrrell Hatton sunk a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the Italian Open for his second European Tour victory in two weeks.

Last week, Hatton retained his title at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the storied Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.

It looked like Hatton was heading for a three-man playoff before he rolled his final putt into the bottom of the cup and unleashed a series of fist pumps to celebrate the Rolex Series victory.

“I had a good feeling standing over it, even though my hands were shaking and my knees were shaking,” Hatton said.

A day after celebrating his 26th birthday, Hatton birdied five of the last seven holes for a bogey-free 65 to finish at 21 under.

Fellow Englishman Ross Fisher and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand tied for second, one stroke behind, while third-round leader Matt Wallace finished fourth at 19 under.

Hatton took home a first-place check of around $1.1 million, the biggest prize in an increased purse of $7 million this year as part of the buildup to the 2022 Ryder Cup outside Rome.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE