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Munoz wins on PGA Tour as South American players go back-to-back

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – Colombian Sebastian Munoz became the second South American in a row to win on the PGA Tour when he beat South Korean Im Sung-jae in a playoff at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi on Sunday.

    A week after Chilean Joaquin Niemann claimed the Greenbrier Classic, Munoz forced extra holes when he drained a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-four 18th, the hardest hole on the course at Country Club of Jackson.

    He then won at the first extra hole, the same 18th, by rattling in a four-footer for par after Im had missed a six-foot putt following a poor approach shot.

    Munoz carded a closing two-under-par 70 after starting the day four shots clear of Im, the newly-crowned PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, whose 66 included three straight birdies from the 14th.

    Munoz and Im finished at 18-under 270, one stroke ahead of South Korean An Byeong-hun (69), a result that will no doubt please Ernie Els, who will captain the International team in December’s Presidents Cup against the United States.

    All three players, as well as Niemann, are eligible for the South African’s side. Els will make four captain’s picks in early November to complete his lineup.

    Munoz, 26, began the week ranked 179th in the world, and he said Niemann’s triumph had been inspirational.

    “Joaquin’s victory definitely gave me that little extra belief that I’m good enough,” he said.

(Reporting by Andrew both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)