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Jake Knapp claims memorable maiden PGA Tour victory at Mexico Open

Despite seeing his four-shot overnight lead wiped out early, PGA Tour rookie Jake Knapp held on to claim his maiden Tour title at the Mexico Open on Sunday.

The 29-year-old American's level-par 71 was enough to hold off the challenge of Finland's Sami Valimaki, who hit a closing 69 to finish two shots back.

Knapp saw his four-shot buffer halved as he bogeyed two of the first three holes, Valimaki moving within one with a birdie on the fourth.

The Finn eagled the short par four seventh to draw level as Knapp claimed his first birdie of the day. He added just one more on the 14th, but Valimaki had dropped three shots by then and could not close the gap again.

"If I would have seen a bunch of the guys at 12 (under, starting the day) get to 17 under through nine holes, I'd be like 'Yeah, the course is very gettable', but I felt a lot of them were at 12, 13, 14 (under) and not really moving," said Knapp, as per pgatour.com.

"It was windy and it was playing tough; pins were in tough spots. Once we got to like (hole) 14, I looked at the leaderboard and I was like 'OK, it's a two-man race' and I've just got to focus on kind of what (Valimaki) does and kind of play it basically as match play from there.

"Twenty-nine years old and first win, there are a lot of people who helped me along my way."

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre finished six shots back in a tie for sixth after a closing 69, but England's Matt Wallace – who shared the halfway lead – slipped to tied 33rd with a 74.

Knapp's win earns him a place at the US Masters, PGA Championship and the five signature events remaining on the PGA Tour.

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