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Week 41: Hatton secures back to back titles

October 16, 2017

European Tour - Italian Open

Tyrrell Hatton fired a brilliant birdie at the last to win the Italian Open and secure back-to-back European Tour titles.

Last week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship winner carded six birdies - including five on the back nine - in a flawless 65 on Sunday to win his first Rolex Series event.

It had looked like the tournament would be decided by a play-off, with clubhouse leaders Ross Fisher and Kiradech Aphibarnrat alongside Hatton on 20 under par as he stood at the 18th tee.

But the 26 year old coolly rolled in his birdie putt from around 15 feet at the last to get to 21 under and clinch the trophy.

Fisher, who was also pipped to the post by Hatton in Scotland last week, and Aphibarnrat had to settle for a share of second place, while overnight leader Matt Wallace finished alone in fourth on 19 under courtesy of a brilliant chip-in birdie at the 17th.

It's amazing to win one but to win back-to-back and defend in two weeks is unbelievable - Tyrrell Hatton

Hatton began the day in a tie for second, two shots behind Wallace, but found himself four shots off the lead at the turn after making just one birdie on the front nine.

The Englishman, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday, caught fire on the back nine, reeling off four straight birdies from the 12th to catapult himself into contention.

After making pars at the 16th and 17th, Hatton knew he would have to do something special at the last to avoid a play-off.

And he obliged, holing his tricky putt in front of huge crowds at the 18th to win his third European Tour title.

PGA Tour – CIMB Classic

American Pat Perez won the PGA TOUR's CIMB Classic, claiming a four-shot victory over compatriot Keegan Bradley on Sunday at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

He sealed his first title in almost a year despite carding a modest three-under 69 in the final round, courtesy of a strong start with three birdies in the first four holes.

The 41-year-old only managed to make par on the back nine, but did enough to finish the tournament with a 24-under 264 to take home the $1.26 million prize purse and 500 FedExCup points.

Victory also earned him an automatic entry for next year's Masters in April.

Perez's feat comes after a long recovery from a shoulder injury last year that threatened to derail his career.

The bulky golfer admitted he never expected to reign supreme in the sweltering conditions in Kuala Lumpur.

"Unreal. I think I'm the last guy that expected to win this week, to be honest with you. I did not think I was going to win this week," Perez said. "I really can't explain it, it's been an amazing 12 months. I can't explain it, but I hope it continues."

Perez also confirmed he'll be back to defend his title next year.

Japan Golf Tour – Japan Open Golf Championship

Yuta Ikeda held off amateur Takumi Kanaya to win his 19th Japan Golf Tour title at the Japan Golf Tours’ flagship tournament the Japan Golf Open Championship.

Challenge Tour –Hainan Open

Erik van Rooyen secured his European Tour status for 2018 by claiming a maiden European Challenge Tour victory at the Hainan Open.

The South African began the week on the cusp of a European Tour card as he sat in tenth place in the Road to Oman Rankings, but after scooping a first-place pay cheque of €47,539 he is assured of a place on Europe’s top tier next season.

Starting the day with a two-shot lead van Rooyen knew that he would be in for a tough final day as he had Challenge Tour Number One Tapio Pulkkanen hot on his heels in second place.

The pair locked horns last month at the Kazakhstan Open where van Rooyen led by one going into the final round – but Pulkkanen went on to lift the title on that occasion after winning in a play-off.

Today was all about van Rooyen though, who battled the wind and the rain on Hainan Island to post a gritty one under par score of 71 and claim a two-shot win.

With his European Tour status guaranteed for next season, the 27 year old cannot wait to play alongside his close friends Dylan Frittelli and Julian Suri – both former Challenge Tour players who have won on the European Tour this season.

“I am super stoked and it has always been a dream of mine to play on the European Tour,” he said. “To have that dream become a reality after today feels amazing.

“I have played a couple of European Tour events and you just really want to be there as you really want to play against the best out there.

Nordic Golf League - Tourfinal Kristianstad Åhus Open

Niklas Lemke won a 3 way play off at the NGL Season ending championship securing a second win on the Nordic Golf League’s 2017 season. Lemke rises from 630 to World No. 513.

Sunshine Tour - Vodacom Origins of Golf – Sishen

Hennie du Plessis, on his 21st birthday, clinched his maiden Sunshine Tour title in dramatic fashion at Sishen Golf Club when he defeated Ockie Strydom on the fourth play-off hole of the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament on Saturday.

“This is awesome,” said Du Plessis. “I couldn’t ask for a better way of doing it than a play-off. I mean, it really shows how much you have worked. You could see my expression on the last hole, how much it means to me. It’s a good birthday present to win a tournament.”

In a dramatic turn of events, Du Plessis, who won the 2015 Sunshine Tour Qualifying School, had to work hard for his maiden title as Strydom forced the play-off to a fourth extra hole before Du Plessis holed a 50-footer for birdie to claim victory.

“The first time, I think, was a little bit worse than the other times,” Du Plessis said of those play-off holes. “I mean, I knew exactly what to hit every time so it was sort of repeating whatever you’re doing. But yeah, the first one was very nerve-wracking because you make a mistake, you’re losing the tournament.”

The nerves were warranted because Strydom was playing solid golf and that was evident as he signed for five-under-67 in regulation, and in some windy conditions at Sishen. “Ockie played very well,” said du Plessis. “I mean, five-under in these conditions is absolutely brilliant golf. It was very gusty. You could see that some of the shots would go an extra five meters or 10 meters longer. Especially in the play-off.”

It was an unbelievable spectacle of golf as the pair produced some of the best golf shots this season, with Strydom pulling off a magnificent par save on the third play-off hole before the eventual winner sunk that 50-foot putt for birdie.

“It was awesome. It was actually a relief that it went in,” he said of the monster putt. “I thought I’d hit it too hard or something. I knew exactly the line from the previous play-off holes, so I knew I just had to get it to the hole.

Asian Development Tour - Combiphar Players Championship

Wolmer Murillo of Venezuela survived a five-way play-off to win his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the US$100,000 Combiphar Players Championship on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Murillo was the last man standing against Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun, South African Mathiam Keyser, American John Catlin and William Harrold of England after they were all tied on seven-under-par 277 in regulation play at the New Kuta Golf, Bali.

The decisive play-off, which was played only on the par-four ninth hole, saw Catlin, Harrold and Keyser bow out on the first extra hole after making bogeys while Wang and Murillo settled for pars.

The duo then went the extra distance before Murillo sealed the deal with a six-foot birdie putt on the fourth extra hole to defeat Wang, who parred the same hole. They had earlier bogeyed the second extra hole and parred the third.

Murillo, who held the overnight lead by one, traded one birdie against two bogeys to turn in 36. He added two more birdies on 10 and 13 but an errant tee shot saw him rue a costly double-bogey on 17.

The Venezuelan, however, bounced back brilliantly with a seven-feet birdie putt on the last to close with an even-par 71 and ensure a spot in the play-off.

“I didn’t even know I was going into a play-off. After I made the double-bogey on 17, I thought I should try and birdie the last to grab the second place. I just kept it going out there and stick to my own rhythm. I didn’t really feel way nervous. I just stayed focused and kept my composure.

“I felt really comfortable with my second shots. I was able to hit it close today. I hit a good approach shot to about seven-feet on the 18th hole and made the putt for birdie to get into the play-off. I was able to hit it close on the third and fourth playoff holes as well. I took my chances,” said Murillo.

PGA Tour Latino America - 64 Aberto do Brasil

Following a bogey-free 6-under 65 on the final-round of the 2017 Aberto do Brasil at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro, Rodolfo Cazaubón moves from World No. 902 to World No. 611.

Alps Tour Golf - Alps de Andalucía

Austria’s Clemens Gaster claimed maiden win on Alps Tour despite charge of Spanish players.

Gaster shot final round 65 for -13 total as overnight leader has trouble to keep his nerves of steel heading to final round. Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez dropped 3 shots in first two holes before holing for birdie on the third. He finished at second place one shot back of the winning score.

A group of three Spaniards shared third place, David Borda, Ignacio Sanchez Palencia and amateur Angel Hidalgo, all with -12 total and finally, two other players from Spain are one shot further, former Challenge Tour player Ignacio Gerard Piris Mateu and Alfredo Garcia-Heredia.

Thanks to this win, Gaster made a huge jump at the ranking from the 70’s to the 20’s position. He earned his place to the Grand Final.



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