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Golf roundup: Paul Casey first to win two straight Valspar Championships

Paul Casey tees off on the ninth hole during the final round of the Valspar Championship on Sunday in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Mike Carlson / AP)
Paul Casey tees off on the ninth hole during the final round of the Valspar Championship on Sunday in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Mike Carlson / AP)
Associated Press

Paul Casey became the first back-to-back winner of the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, on Sunday by closing with a 1-over 72 for a one-shot victory over Jason Kokrak and Louis Oosthuizen.

Casey thought his biggest challenge would be Dustin Johnson, who was one shot behind. Instead, the world’s No. 1 player failed to make a single birdie for the first time in 31 tournaments worldwide.

The real challenge was Innisbrook, so tough that no one shot better than 68 in the final round.

Kokrak (71) and Oosthuizen (69) each had a share of the lead on the back nine. Kokrak missed an 8-foot par putt on the final hole. Casey was in a fairway bunker on No. 18 when he hit to just over 20 feet and two-putted for the win.

It was the first time since this event joined the PGA Tour schedule in 2000 that the winner was over par in the final round. The course was so dry and fast that no one shot better than 68, and the average score of 72.143 was the second-toughest final round his year behind rainy, windy Riviera.

LPGA

Jin Young Ko rallied to win the Founders Cup for her third LPGA Tour victory, closing with a 7-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over four players in Phoenix.

The 23-year-old South Korean player birdied Nos. 14-16 and parred the final two to finish at 22-under 266 at Desert Ridge. She won when third-round leader Yu Liu missed a 15-foot par putt on the par-4 18th.

Liu shot a 70 to tie for second with playing partner Carlota Ciganda and sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda. Ciganda closed with a 69, Jessica Korda eagled the two back-nine par 5s in a 64, and Nelly Korda shot 66.

Ko rebounded from a second-round 72 with a 64 on Saturday to pull within four strokes of Liu. She has three top-three finishes in four events this year.

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