Garnett wins first US PGA title at Dominican event

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Santo Domingo (AFP)

American Brice Garnett captured his first US PGA title on Sunday, firing a two-under par 70 to win the Corales Championship in the Dominican Republic by four strokes.

Garnett, whose best prior PGA showing was sixth at Mayakoba in 2015, finished 72 holes at the Puntacana resort on 18-under par 270 after a windy and rainy final round.

Among the victory prizes for Garnett, whose breakthrough came in his 88th PGA start, is a berth in his first PGA Championship.

"It's fun. It's real fun," Garnett said. "It's crazy. A lot of hard work, a lot of determination and a lot of support along the way."

The PGA's Dominican debut gave lesser lights a chance at a top finish with the world's top players competing at the WGC Match-Play Championship this week at Austin, Texas.

Garnett, 34, birdied three of the first four holes, stumbled with back-to-back bogeys at the fifth and sixth, but bounced back with birdies at the par-5 seventh and par-3 11th. he followed with six pars before a closing bogey.

"I just wanted to make nine pars on the back. That putt on 11 was huge for me," Garnett said. "Hard day but man it's a lot of fun to do this. I felt great all day."

American Keith Mitchell was second on 274, one stroke ahead of compatriot Kelly Kraft with American Denny McCarthy fourth on 276.

South Korean K.J. Choi, China's Zhang Xinjun and Ireland's Seamus Power and Paul Dunne were in a pack on 277 that also included Americans Andrew Putnam, Harris English, Tom Lovelady and Seungsu Han.