David Howell celebrated his first European Tour title in seven years by beating American 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”.
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Henrik Stenson almost doubled his career earnings on the US PGA Tour in one tournament on Sunday, holding his nerve to become the first European winner of both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup title.
The Swede wearing FJ ICON shoes and a Pure Touch glove, carded a final round of 68 at East Lake which was good enough for a three shot victory from Jordan Spieth (FJ ICON) and Steve Stricker (DryJoys Tour & Pure Touch), to claim the first prize of $1,400,000 and an eye-popping $10,000,000 FedEx Cup bonus.
The 37 year old Swede had led by nine shots midway through the third round but bogeyed three of his last five holes to take a four shot lead into the final round.
"It was probably as tough of a situation as I've been in in terms of having that big lead yesterday and didn't finish that great," Stenson acknowledged. "But in one sense, it could have been good as well because it really made me focus ... because I knew I had to play a good game of golf today to hold the guys off."
Stenson duly obliged and his historic win takes him to fourth in the world rankings equaling his highest rank since winning The Players Championship back in 2009.
"It's just been a great summer," Stenson said. "I mean, way beyond what I could imagine. The play that I performed here since mid-July has been incredible.
The Orlando resident will now be taking several weeks off before heading off to European Tour finale to see if he can claim the Race to Dubai title to add to his newly acquired FedEx Cup.
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Closer to home on the European Tour Julien Quesne snatched the 70° Open d’Italia Lindt at Golf Club Torino to claim his second European Tour title.
The Frenchman (FJ ICON) began the day four shots off the lead and looked out of contention when he ran up a double-bogey six on the second, but birdied the fourth and sixth and then stormed home in 31.
That set the clubhouse target on 12 under par, which was good enough to claim victory by one shot and Quesne, whose previous win came in the Open de Andalucía last year, said:
"I am very proud of this back nine. My attitude was very good this week and I think this is the key. To enjoy a second win on The European Tour is like a dream for me”.
Joost Luiten delighted the home crowd with victory in the KLM Open at Kennemer Golf Club.
The Dutchman wearing FJ Sport BOA claimed the title on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off and became the first home winner for a decade.
Luiten only needed a par on the play-off hole and he duly obliged. His drive split the fairway and it left him an approach of 164 metres, which set up a long iron into the middle of the green and he then two putted for par.
"I don't know what it means for Dutch golf but I think it's pretty big. Maarten Lafeber won it in 2003 and that was huge, and to have another Dutch winner now I think it will help the game here and hopefully we can create more Dutch winners for this tournament." Luiten added after his win.
It’s the first time a Dutchman has recorded multiple victories in the same European Tour season and the 27 year old now moves into inside the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking from 81st.
This victory continues his wonderful summer form, including his first victory of the year in the Lyoness Open and in his last eight events; he has won twice, tied second in the Irish Open, tied fourth in the Wales Open and tied tenth in the BMW International Open.
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Grégory Bourdy produced a stunning finish to triumph at the ISPS Handa Wales Open.
Joint-top with overnight leader and fellow FJ ambassador, Peter Uihlein (XPS-1 shoes and StaSof glove) after 15 holes, the Frenchman (FJ ICON shoes) made a decisive move to edge out the American by two strokes.
Bourdy amazingly finished with three birdies, culminating in a 30-foot effort on the last, in which, Uihlein could only manage a bogey on the impressive Celtic Manor 2010 course.
"It was an amazing round," stated the Frenchman. "I made an amazing finish with three birdies in a row and I am so happy.
Bourdy's victory is his fourth on the European Tour and his efforts meant America’s Uihlein had to settle for second place having struggled to make full use of the three stroke advantage he had built.
"I will remember the finish on this great course for a long time. A lot of great moments have been here; I was thinking about the Ryder Cup on the 18th so I am so proud to win this trophy."
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We make our way to the venue that inspired a winning 2010 Ryder Cup team - Celtic Manor no less: