Week 36: Justin Rose climbs to World No.1
September 10, 2018
European Tour - Omega European Masters
Matthew Fitzpatrick beat Lucas Bjerregaard in a play-off to become the first man in 40 years to successfully defend the title at the Omega European Masters.
The Englishman started the day four shots ahead of Bjerregaard but the Dane carded a brilliant 63 to set the target at 17 under and Fitzpatrick had to birdie the last to take it to extra holes.
The 24-year-old then put his approach to 12 feet on the first trip back up the 18th and another birdie saw him become the first player since the late, great Seve Ballesteros to go back-to-back at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
The final day had developed into an enthralling three-way battle between Fitzpatrick, Bjerregaard and Mike Lorenzo-Vera, with the Frenchman right in it until he bogeyed the last after finding the water.
Lorenzo-Vera finished at 15 under, three shots clear of Spaniard Nacho Elvira and four ahead of England's Daniel Brooks.
Japan Golf Tour - ISPS Handa Match Play
Thailands Thanyakorn Khrongpha won his first Japan Golf Tour title at the ISPS Handa Match Play.
Challenge Tour – Bridgestone Challenge
Tom Lewis won the Bridgestone Challenge by five shots to return to the winners' circle after a seven-year absence.
Lewis carded a seven under par round of 64 to triumph at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa ahead of Dimitrios Papadatos, becoming the first Englishman to lift the Bridgestone Challenge and winning for the first time since his 2011 Portugal Masters success on the European Tour.
The local Bedfordshire star began the final round one stroke behind overnight leaders Stanislav Matus and Papadatos but backed up his opening rounds of 63-67-67 to claim his first European Challenge Tour title.
A bogey on the first did not trouble the 27 year old as he set his sights on glory with birdies on the following three holes to join the leaders. A further three gains around the turn saw Lewis take the lead and then extend it as the sun shone on the Bedfordshire parkland.
With the chasing pack far behind, Lewis birdied the par three 13th and par five 17th to move to 23 under par, before a tap-in par on the 18th sealed a memorable victory.
“This win means a lot. It doesn't matter whether you win a huge event or a small event, and this is a big event on the Challenge Tour, either way it means a lot,” he said.
“I've probably had more fun this week then I did seven years ago. I appreciate the win a lot more now. I've struggled over the years and when you struggle or lose something you appreciate things more. That is something that I took advantage of when I was younger, so if I can continue to play like this and get a few more wins, then I can really appreciate what I'm doing.
“It wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be today. It was very windy, and the course was very bouncy. I drove it well, though, and when I was in position I was able to go at the pins and I holed the putts when I needed to.
“This win gives me a lot of confidence. I didn't panic today, and I think that's the big thing I can take from this week.”
PGA Tour Series China - Qinhuangdao Championship
The 23-year-old Nick Voke beat England's Stephen Lewton in a playoff on Sunday to win the Qinhuangdao Championship and became the first New Zealander to win a PGA TOUR Series-China title since Josh Geary in 2015.
Voke, playing in the second-to-last group, shot a 6-under 66 at Qinhuangdao Poly Golf Club to take the clubhouse lead, at 12-under, and then watched as Lewton, the third-round co-leader, birdied the final hole to force the playoff.
Asian Development Tour - PGM MIRI Championship
Shakhawat Sohel of Bangladesh sensationally eagled the first extra hole to win his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM Miri Championship on Saturday.
Shakhawat returned with a solid five-under-par 67 in regulation play to tie with rising star Nitithorn Thippong (70) of Thailand on seven-under-par 281 at the (RM225,000 approximately US$58,000) ADT event.
When they returned to the 18th hole for the play-off, it was a cool and composed Shakhawat who produced the shot of the day when he chipped-in for eagle from 40 yards to pip Nitithorn, who had earlier set up a 12-foot birdie putt from the bunker.
The victory was a dream come true for Shakhawat, who erased the heartbreak of losing in a play-off on the ADT in Malaysia in July. With this triumph, he became the second Bangladeshi to win on the ADT after Siddikur Rahman.
“I'm feeling great. I can't express what I'm feeling. This is my first victory in an international tournament and I'm very proud and happy,” said the 33-year-old, who won US$9,503 and earned six Official World Golf Ranking points (OWGR).
“When I saw my eagle chip disappearing into the hole, I was just too excited. I remember screaming and celebrating. I think I threw my cap as well,” he laughed.
“The feeling was different when I lost in a play-off a few months ago. I was very sad but the experience helped me today. I was thinking a lot then and rushing my shots but today I'm more relaxed. More importantly, I was focussed on what I wanted which was to win,” said Shakhawat.
He was three shots off the pace at the start of the final 18 holes but he took full advantage of a solid short game which resulted in a flawless round highlighted by five birdies.
PGA Tour Canada – Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval
After a one-hole playoff with Corey Pereira, Blake Olson captured his first career Mackenzie Tour victory after firing a Sunday 67 at the Mackenzie Investments Open presented by Jaguar Laval at Elm Ridge Country Club, his second-best number of the week.
With the win, Olson moves all the way up from spot No. 42 on the Order of Merit to eighth, giving him an opportunity to move into The Five next week at the Freedom 55 Financial Championship.
“I said earlier in the week when asked about my goals that I was trying to get into the top 10,” said the Pensacola, FL native. “This win does that, but by no means am I secure, so I need to go have a good week next week and see where things stack up.”
Olson, entering the day two-strokes behind Pereira, made his move during the first half of the round, making birdie on hole Nos. 3 and 5 before three in a row from Nos. 8-10 put himself in a tie at the top of the leaderboard.
It wasn't until Pereira made bogey on No. 14, just his third blemish of the week, that Olson possessed a solo lead.
“I had been in a pretty good spot last year with nine holes to play and didn't finish it off, so this time I didn't look at many boards,” said Olson. “I would see my name at the top but wouldn't look at any scores, I just knew I was doing the right things and stuck to what I was doing.”
Pro Golf Tour – NEW GOLF CLUB Matchplay Championship
Pole Mateusz Gradecki is the winner of the first match play tournament in the history of the Pro Golf Tour.
After the 24-year-old had already dominated the competition of the NEW GOLF CLUB Matchplay Championship 2018 in the 36-hole qualifier, the professional from Wrocław also showed his class in the following five man-against-man duels and finally triumphed at the NEW GOLF CLUB Neu-Ulm.
In the semifinals he cleared the Czech Ondřej Lieser with 3 & 2, in the final he sat down on the 9th hole against the Frenchman Baptiste Achard. Third place went to Lieser, who defeated German local hero Maximilian Walz on the second extra hole in the small final.
Big Easy Tour - Big Easy Challenge 9 – Kyalami
Zimbabwe rookie Ben Follett-Smith made a flying start to the Big Easy IGT Challenge #9 with a seven-under-par 65 in the first round at Kyalami Country Club on Monday.
The 24-year-old old made light work of the firm greens to set the benchmark high with a superb round that featured six birdies, an eagle and a lone bogey and leads by four shots from Ruan Korb, Maritz Wessels, Wayne Stroebel and Gary Player School member Heinrich Bruiners.
Follett-Smith was left ruing an early drop, but overall was happy with his opening effort.
“I was annoyed after I hit a terrible 9-iron off the tee into the third and short-sided myself in a bunker,” he said. “I wasn't sure about the trap shot and didn't trust it. It's okay, though; that's golf.
“I struck the ball well, hit a lot of greens and put a lot of shots close. It was nice to get an invitation to play this week. I needed to get the putter going again after I missed the cut in the Vodacom Origins last week. I played really well, but I just didn't get along with the greens at Selborne.”
Follett-Smith birdied three of the par fives and eagled the fourth after a great drive down the middle of the 13th fairway.
“I stuck a 6-iron six feet from the hole and boxed the putt,” he said. “I made great up-and-downs from the bunkers at nine and 12 and I just lipped out for another eagle at the last.
“It's an interesting course. The fairways are fairly narrow, so have to play strategically. And the greens are very slopey. I only played it once before this week, but I managed nine holes in on Sunday to refresh my memory.”
A former Zimbabwe Amateur champion, Follett-Smith graduated Mississippi State University on a scholarship and joined the pro ranks last year.
Nordic Golf League - Bråviken Open
24-year-old Hampus Bergman from Lannalodge, Sweden, won the Bråviken Open with rounds of 66,64 and 64 he was never really threatened.