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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”.
Former Oklahoma State standout and US Amateur Champion, Peter Uihlein shot a final round of 68 to capture his first professional career victory at the Madeira Islands Open in Santo Da Serra, Portugal. Beginning the day one stroke behind leader Mark Tullo, Ulhlein opened with a bogey falling further behind. However, Uihlein fought back to even par for the front nine and continued to make four birdies in his final eight holes to reach 15 under par. The total gave him a two stroke victory over fellow FJ Staffers, Morten Orum Madsen and Mark Tullo.
Uihlein was ready for any conditions the seaside golf course could conjure in full line FJ Performance Apparel, DryJoys Tour golf shoes and the StaSof golf glove.
Uihlein stated post round, "To do it playing well on the back nine coming down the stretch is sweet. ... I just knuckled down, I guess. It was all putting that did it today; I was just trying to free up and they started to roll in, so it was nice."
Peter also spoke of his decision to join the European Tour instead of testing his game on the American circuit, "You grow up quick out here and that was the main reason I came over...It's been a good process so far and hopefully I can keep going."
This is Peter's third top ten in seven European Tour starts this season. The win also gives Uihlein European Tour Status through the 2014 season.
Madeira Islands Open SHOE COUNT:FJ - 66%Nearest Comp - 18%