SHANGHAI — U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy won $2 million in the Shanghai Masters on Sunday, beating Anthony Kim with a par on the first hole of a playoff.
McIlroy holed a 2-foot putt for the victory after Kim missed a 3-footer.
McIlroy had a chance to win in regulation, but the 22-year-old star from Northern Ireland missed an 8-foot birdie putt. He closed with an even-par 72 to match Kim (69) at 18 under on Lake Malaren’s Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters course.
“It’s something that I feel like I can still get better at is winning and putting yourself in the position to win when you’re not playing your best,” McIlroy said.
“Even if it’s scrappy golf where you grind it out, you’re going to win a lot more tournaments by doing that rather than playing your best golf the whole week. I was very happy I was able to pull this one out.”
The $2 million first prize is the richest in golf. The top players, staying in Shanghai another week for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International, also received appearance money, and last place paid $25,000. Because the event isn’t sanctioned by a major tour, there were no ranking points at stake.
Kim earned $750,000.
“It was an exciting final day and a tough finish for me personally,” Kim said. “We had a lot fun out there today.”
BO VAN PELT WINS BY SIX: In Selangor, Malaysia, Bo Van Pelt ran away with the Asia Pacific Classic, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a 7-under 64 and a six-stroke victory.
“I’ve watched other guys coming down 18 with a big lead and I thought, ‘That would be fun some day if I could do that.’ And it was,” Van Pelt said, “I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. I get to do what I love to do for a living.”
The winner of the PGA Tour’s 2009 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, Van Pelt finished at 23 under at The Mines and earned $1.3 million in the second-year event sanctioned by the PGA and Asian tours.
“I’ve had a couple of chances to win this year, but didn’t come out on top,” Van Pelt said. “Canada was a tough pill to swallow. I just wanted to learn from that and do a better job when I had the lead. I take a lot of satisfaction in how I played today.”
GARCIA WINS ANDALUCIA MASTERS: In Sotogrande, Spain, Sergio Garcia held off fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez to win the Andalucia Masters by one shot on Sunday for his second straight European Tour victory.
Garcia shook off two early bogeys with two birdies on a flawless back nine to card an even 71 and finish with a 6-under total of 278 at the Valderrama course.
“It’s very, very special. Valderrama ... I have so much history here and unfortunately it wasn’t as good as this until now,” said Garcia, who had previously finished runner-up three times on the course.
COMPTON QUALIFIES FOR PGA TOUR: In Charleston, S.C., two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton earned a PGA Tour card when he finished in the top 25 on the Nationwide Tour money list, while Ken Duke won the season-ended Nationwide Tour Championship on Sunday to also secure a spot on the big tour.
Duke closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 10 under on Daniel Island Club’s Ralston Creek Course, two better than Scott Brown. The 42-year-old Duke earned $180,000 and went from 36th to seventh on the money list.
New Orleans Amateur
NOTO WINS IN PLAYOFF: In New Orleans, former Louisiana-Lafayette Andrew Noto beat Patrick Christovich in a playoff to win the New Orelans Amateur Championship golf tournament at Lakewood Golf Club.
Noto shot the best round of the day with a 4-under 68 finish at 3-under 141 and catch first-round leader Christovich, who shot a 1-under 71 Sunday.
University of New Orleans golfer Joshua Tomblin finished third.