David Howell celebrated his first European Tour title in seven years by beating Peter Uihlein in a sudden-death play-off at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Howell wearing DryJoys Tour™ golf shoes and a SciFlex™ glove, carded a final round of 67 to set the clubhouse target at St Andrews and then watched as overnight leader Uihlein (XPS-1™ & Pure Touch®) missed from 15 feet for a winning birdie on the 18th, meaning the pair finished tied on 23 under par.
Playing the first hole at St Andrews to begin the play-off, both players narrowly missed long birdie attempts but Howell, who had lost all four of his previous play-offs, made no such mistake from eight feet to claim the title and first prize of €589,561.
Uihlein began the day with a two-shot lead but a combination of a three-putt bogey at the first and a blistering start from France's Thomas Levet saw that instantly wiped out.
Levet (FJ ICON™) briefly led by two shots when he opened with five straight birdies and also picked up a shot on the seventh, but faded over the closing stretch and saw his hopes ended by driving out of bounds on the 14th. He did have the consolation of winning the pro-am competition however.
Howell’s victory at St. Andrews lifts him to the top of the European Ryder Cup Points List and to 12th on the Race to Dubai, guaranteeing qualification for the season finale DP World Tour Championship - where the Dubai resident will make his debut from the 14-17 November.
The 38 year old also jumps 82 places in the Official World Golf Rankings to 94.
"I have never played in an Open Championship here but to win a golf tournament as a professional at the Home of Golf is quite amazing and I am really thrilled” stated Howell.
"I was really nervous all week and strangely less nervous today - I can't explain that at all. I stayed calm and smooth under pressure and that was really pleasing”.
The FJ Tour Insider is back and this week we are covering the Irish Open. The strong field and major-esque venue has created much buzz around this event, leading to the first ever sell out of a non-major European Tour event! With the British Open just around the corner, many FJ players are using this as a tune up for next month's major at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. FJ Ambassadors, Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington are looking to give their thousands of local followers a good showing this week, hopefully with a win!
It should be a great week of golf on the rustic Northern Irish coastline.
Enjoy the slideshow!