Daniel Gavins holes 25-foot double-bogey putt on final hole to win Ras Al Khaimah Championship title; Englishman finds water twice before sinking from distance to earn second DP World Tour victory; Gavins ends one clear of Alexander Bjork and Zander Lombard
Last Updated: 05/02/23 1:01pm
Daniel Gavins holed a 25-foot putt on the final hole to claim a one-shot win at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship after his hopes of a second DP World Tour victory appeared to be slipping away.
Englishman Gavins began the 18th with a two-shot lead over Alexander Bjork but then twice found the water before sinking a superb putt for a double-bogey to end on 17 under par.
With Bjork having bogeyed the last to finish on 16 under, Gavins’ only remaining challenger was 54-hole leader Zander Lombard but the South African was unable to end his round with the eagle he needed as he matched Bjork on 16 under.
Gavins’ second DP World Tour victory comes 18 months after his first – the 31-year-old having scooped the ISPS Handa World Invitational in August 2021 – with this triumph secured via an excellent week of putting.
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“I am pretty speechless,” said Gavins. “I thought [I had thrown it away]. I put two in the water and thought ‘that’s one way to end the tournament’.
“I have been struggling off the tee for the last two weeks, I’ve been battling, and it was a difficult hole to go through. Fortunately I holed out! I thought I was holing it for a play-off. I didn’t realise Bjork had made bogey.
“I was pretty relaxed all day even though my swing off the tee wasn’t great. I obviously felt it quite a lot on the 18th but other than that it was pretty calm.”
The 31-year-old followed a first-hole bogey on Sunday with five gains on the spin and then another birdie at eight to open up a three-stroke advantage over Bjork, Matthieu Pavon and Lombard.
Bogeys at nine and 12 halted Gavins’ progress and left him tied with Bjork at the top of the leaderboard but he then picked up back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 to re-establish a two-stroke advantage before edging to victory at the 18th with a seven for a three-under 69.
Lombard held a one-shot lead over Rasmus Hojgaard heading into the final round, with Gavins two shots back at 14 under, but there was a dramatic swing up top following Gavins’ birdie haul and Lombard completing a topsy-turvy front nine in a one-over 37.
The South African, chasing a maiden DP World Tour title, mixed four bogeys with an eagle and a birdie across his first nine holes before coming home in a one-under 35.
France’s Pavon made a stunning birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie start but his charge faded following three bogeys and a double across his next nine holes and he ended tied ninth on 13 under.
Hojgaard twins Nicolai and Rasmus had attention on them in the final round, with Nicolai looking to retain the title and Rasmus hoping to pip his sibling and ensure they became the first brothers to win the same DP World Tour event.
The 21-year-olds both shot over par on Sunday, though, with Rasmus ending in a share of sixth on 14 under and Nicolai tied 13th on 11 under.
Poland’s Adrian Meronk (15 under) and England’s Ross Fisher (13 under) shot the rounds of the day – their seven-under 65s matched only by Germany’s Marcel Schneider – as they finished tied fourth and tied ninth respectively.
Watch more live DP World Tour action from Thursday as the Singapore Classic begins. Coverage starts at 5.30am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.
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