SAUCIER, Miss. — Michael Allen was stunned for a second, staring at the 4-foot par putt he missed on the 18th hole that dropped him into a tie with Bernhard Langer for the lead at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.
Then he felt the whipping wind – gusting to 30 mph at times – hitting him the face. Maybe he wasn’t in such a bad spot after all.
“It was very, very tough to judge the wind out there,” Allen said.
Sure enough, the 54-year-old was back on the 18th green celebrating about 45 minutes later.
Allen started the day two shots behind the leaders, but made five birdies on the front nine to vault into the lead and held on for his first victory of the season and fourth on the Champions Tour. He navigated the windy conditions brilliantly at Fallen Oak until the final five holes, where he had three bogeys.
He finished the day with 5-under 67 and was 11 under for the tournament,
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat shot 2-under 70 to beat Eduardo Molinari by a stroke and win a Malaysian Open shortened to 54 holes after constant rain interruptions.
Kiradech had five birdies and four bogeys at the Kuala Lumpur Golf Club for a three-round total of 203. Molinari had 67, one stroke ahead of Denmark’s Anders Hansen, who shot 66 for a 205 total.
Charl Schwartzel (71) and Victor Dubuisson (70) shared fourth place, three strokes off the lead.
After thunderstorms shortened play on each of the first three days, organizers announced Saturday the tournament would be decided over three rounds. Play was suspended again Sunday for more than two hours because of rain.
WEB.COM TOUR: In Broussard, La., Edward Loar won the Louisiana Open for his second Web.com Tour title, closing with 2-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over Morgan Hoffmann.
Loar, the 35-year-old former Oklahoma State player who also won the tour’s 2012 Panama Claro Championship, finished at 17-under 267 on the Le Triomphe course and earned $99,000.
Aiken’s Kevin Kisner shot 72 and tied for 55th at 281. Augusta’s Scott Parel (73) tied for 62nd at 284.
LPGA TOUR: In Carlsbad, Calif., Beatrtiz Recari sank an 18-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the second hole of a playoff with I.K. Kim to win the Kia Classic on Sunday.
After Recari and Kim three-putted No. 18 both in regulation and on the first playoff hole, Recari ended it for her first victory since her rookie season of 2010.
Recari closed with 2-over 74 to match Kim at 9 under at Aviara. Kim shot 71.
They teed off on 18 again and both players three-putted. With dusk falling, they played the hole again.
Kim had a 30-foot putt on the second playoff hole and rolled it left.
Recari went 59 holes before carding her first bogey in the tournament.
Kim bogeyed four of her last eight holes in regulation.