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Abraham Ancer Wins 3-Man Play-Off in LIV Golf Hong Kong

Abraham Ancer Wins 3-Man Play-Off in LIV Golf Hong Kong
(Montana Pritchard/LIV Golf)

After two flawless days at LIV Golf Hong Kong, Abraham Ancer’s final round turned into a tough, challenging Sunday afternoon in the rain. But with the individual title on the line in a three-man playoff, the Fireballs GC star produced the kind of ball-striking worthy of a champion.

Ancer beat Cameron Smith and Paul Casey with a birdie on the first playoff hole to win his first individual LIV Golf title, while Casey and his Crushers GC teammates won their second consecutive team trophy with another final-round rally for a two-stroke victory over Torque GC.

It was a thrilling conclusion for both titles in front of the large, enthusiastic crowds at Hong Kong Golf Club – although Ancer would have settled for minimal tension after starting out with a five-stroke lead thanks to opening rounds of 63 and 62. He shot a 2-over 72 on Sunday, making his only three bogeys of the week, but he persevered when needed.

“It was definitely a grind,” Ancer said. “I made it a lot more stressful than I envisioned it … I’m really proud of how I felt mentally and how I fought the whole round not having my best stuff.”

(Photo by Montana Pritchard/LIV Golf)

Casey shot a 6-under 64 and Smith, the Ripper GC captain, shot 66 to catch Ancer. But in the playoff at the difficult par-4 18th at Hong Kong Golf Club, Casey’s drive left him with no chance to reach the green in two, while Smith’s approach found the greenside bunker. Both players ultimately made bogeys.

Meanwhile, Ancer hit a perfect drive with his 5-wood, then followed with an equally sensational approach with his 8-iron inside 5 feet for the winning birdie.

“I think that second shot was even more important than the tee ball just because I haven’t hit one good iron shot all day, and I knew I wanted to pull it off,” Ancer said. “My caddie kind of pumped me up. It’s like, all right, it’s time to hit the shot of the day, and it came out perfect. I couldn’t be happier with how I played that playoff.”

Casey was also seeking his first LIV Golf individual title but could still celebrate a team victory with the Crushers, who last week in Jeddah rallied from 11 shots down entering the final round for the win.

On Sunday, the Crushers were seven shots back of the 36-hole leader Fireballs but shot a collective 14 under in the final round to finish at 35 under. In addition to Casey’s 64, captain Bryson DeChambeau shot 66, Charles Howell III contributed a 67 and Anirban Lahiri added a 68.

Going back to last season, the Crushers have now won four of the last seven LIV Golf events, including the 2023 Team Championship.

“What a great group of guys,” Casey said. “We’ve got something – we spoke briefly about it after Jeddah, that we’ve got something that you can’t measure, and I firmly believe that.”

Added DeChambeau: “We know with four scores counting, we’re going to be in it no matter what the last day. We put the pedal to the metal today and showcased who we are.”

Top 5 Leaderboard

CRUSHERS GC -35 (Casey 64, DeChambeau 66, Howell III 67, Lahiri 68; Rd. 3 score: -14)
 
2. TORQUE GC -33 (Niemann 63, Ortiz 66, Pereira 68, Muñoz 71; Rd. 3 score: -13)
 
3. RIPPER GC -32 (Smith 66, Herbert 67, Leishman 69, Jones 71; Rd. 3 score: -7)
 
4. MAJESTICKS GC -31 (Horsfield 65, Westwood 67, Poulter 68, Stenson 69; Rd. 3 score: -11)
 
5. CLEEKS GC -29 (Bland 66, Kaymer 67, Meronk 69, Samooja 71; Rd. 3 score: -7)

The next event on the LIV Golf schedule is LIV Golf Miami taking place between 5-7 April.