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Faldo crowns Major Champions Invitational winners in Arizona

10.12am 30th January 2020 - Growing the Game - This story was updated on Friday, January 31st, 2020

The 2020 Major Champions Invitational presented by Golf Saudi lived up to its high billing with an action-packed finish to both the Boys and Girls events at Lookout Mountain Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.

Major Champions Invitational winners Yuki Moriyama from Japan (Boys) and Zoe Campos from USA (Girls) win with tournament host Sir Nick Faldo

Zoe Campos, representing Team Lopez, entered the final day two shots back from overnight leader June Song of Australia. However, an eagle three on the par-5 2nd drew Campos level with her playing partner. Campos continued to pile on the pressure and only had to wait until the very next hole to take the solo lead by backing up her eagle with a birdie on the 3rd.

Campos was in cruise control and covered the front-nine in just 32 shots. However, a double bogey on the 11th and a bogey on the 12th dragged her back into a tie with Song. Although it proved to be just a blip, as Campos showed her metal by covering the final four holes in three-under par to take a two-shot victory.

“It’s a great start to the year! The whole tournament has been amazing, with different players from lots of different countries, as well as high-profile professionals leading the teams,” said Campos. “I have no words to describe winning both events, it’s just the coolest thing to be part of a team and playing for them – it gives you so much more motivation. I think being two back to start the day helped because there was less pressure on me, but this will give me a lot of confidence going into the future now knowing I can close it out in a big event.”

In the Boys event, after 13 birdies and an eagle in the first two rounds, Yuki Moriyama continued his rich vein of form with four more birdies in the first seven holes on the final day. He started the day with a two-shot lead, and he appeared to be cruising, but a double bogey at the 12th was the first sign of any weakness. He followed it with another dropped shot at the 13th hole but, just when he was in danger of losing his grip on the title, he bounced back with two straight birdies on 14 and 15 to put himself back in command.

Playing with Moriyama in the final group was Gustav Andersson from Sweden (Team Stenson), who put up a spirited fight throughout. However, by the time the final group reached the 18th tee, Moriyama remained two shots ahead of the Swede. A bogey from the young Japanese player on the penultimate hole did give Andersson hope of a play-off as they walked to the reachable par-5 18th. However, when Moriyama found the green with a towering 8-iron second shot to 25 feet his victory was well-deserved.

“This feels great. I had some scary moments on the course, as I made a double bogey and a bogey, which meant at one point we tied scores,” said Moriyama. “But I told myself to relax and make more birdies to try and win it. I’m so happy to win a big event like this, as I’ve not won in a while. Being a team and individual event, the Major Champions Invitational is unique – and golf is so much easier as an individual. But we are representing famous professionals and you try to play for your team, so it’s a new experience and I had so much fun doing it!”

The team winners were Team Lopez, captained by Nancy Lopez, who built on a two-shot lead entering the final round to claim a five-stroke victory over the all-Swedish team captained by Henrik Stenson.

Tournament host Sir Nick Faldo, said: “What a brilliant week. We’ve seen some amazing golf being played and we’ve ended up with two fantastic individual winners in Yuki and Zoe, as well as the Team Winners captained by the lovely Nancy Lopez. Team Spieth had the opportunity to meet with Jordan earlier in the week, and Ariya Jutanugarn has been with us for the last couple of days, so I hope the players have all enjoyed it and will take away some valuable experiences. We’re already planning for next year’s event and it’s going to be bigger and better.”


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