285th Time Lucky for Richard McEvoy at European Open
AFTER 17 years on the European Tour, six successful trips to qualifying school and 284 tournaments. England’s Richard McEvoy proved that dreams really can come true when he birdied the 72nd hole to win the Porsche European Open by a single shot. In the process, he saw off the challenge of Masters champion Patrick Reed and outplayed Bryson DeChambeau, one of the hottest prospects in world golf.
He arrived in Germany in the form of his life, having claimed his third Challenge Tour title last week at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.
McEvoy had only managed to keep his card on the European Tour twice since winning the Q-School in 2003 but his long wait for victory is now over after a closing 73 at Green Eagle Golf Courses handed him an 11 under par total and a one-shot victory over local amateur Allen John, Swede Christofer Blomstrand and Italian Renato Paratore.
The 39-year-old held a two-shot lead on the front nine and for much of the afternoon went head to head with playing partner and joint overnight leader DeChambeau.
Back-to-back bogeys from McEvoy on the 12th and 13th had the American in the lead but DeChambeau dropped five shots in his last four holes to fall back. A McEvoy birdie on the 15th took him back in front but John was already in the clubhouse at10 under as the deaf amateur – who rejoined the unpaid ranks in 2016 after turning professional in 2011 - produced a closing 67.
Afterwards, John said: “Making birdies on the back nine was really cool. I was in the moment so didn’t notice anything around me and when I was on the 18th I saw the leaderboard and I was like, ‘Wow, I’m pretty much in contention. There’s a lot of confidence I can take out of this tournament.”
Blomstrand and Paratore both birdied the last for rounds of 68 and 70 respectively to join John and when McEvoy bogeyed the 17th, there was a four-way tie for the lead.
A lay-up on the last left McEvoy 20 feet up the hill for victory and, incredibly. He holed the right to left putt for a heartwarming victory.
Not surprisingly, he was overcome with emotion at the end. “It's incredible,” he said. “I've waited a long time, 17 years as a pro on and off the Tour. I'm absolutely over the moon. A lot of hard work, a lot of bad years, a lot of good years but it's never quite happened and it was my time on that 18th green today.
“I fought hard, I believed, and even at the last I overpowered my caddie to lay it up to give myself the best opportunity to make birdie and I managed to do it. I've tried to enjoy my golf as much as possible. Not that I haven't been but I just needed to that little bit more and it's just come up proper trumps.
“It started a couple of weeks ago, I played a pro-am at Queenwood and shot 64 – a course record – and beat the likes of Rory, Justin Rose, Adam Scott and a few other boys and that was the start of the confidence kick, really. Last week was obviously another boost to the confidence and I've come good again this week."
A six-time Q-School grad and now a European Tour winner.— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 29, 2018
Hard work pays off ???????? pic.twitter.com/eT6pTZwXxq
Japan's Hideto Tanihara and Frenchman Romain Wattel nine under, a shot clear of Paul Casey and Austrian Matthias Schwab.
Reed finished the tournament on seven under alongside fellow Charl Schwartzel, Scot David Drysdale and England's Matthew Nixon, one ahead of a group containing DeChambeau.
McEvoy started with five pars and while he dropped a shot after finding water on the sixth, a stunning approach to the seventh kept him two ahead. He then found sand on the eighth to drop into a share of the lead with DeChambeau at the turn after a two-shot swing and the field were closing in.
A 15-foot right-to lefter on the 11th edged him back ahead at 12 under but after missing the green on the 12th and 13th, he found himself trailing his playing partner.
An excellent 20-foot effort on the 15th had him back ahead as DeChambeau fell back but McEvoy left himself a devilishly tough chip on the 17th to fall back into a share before his big finish.
John turned in 33 and added another birdie on the 11th before surging through the field with a big finish of his own, taking advantage of the 15th and 16th and hitting a stunning tee-shot into the penultimate hole.
Paratore birdied the seventh and 11th but missed opportunities on the back nine, and a bogey on the 14th looked to have ended his chances before he produced an incredible second from the right on the last to set up a birdie.
Blomstrand turned in 31 with birdies on the second, fourth, and seventh, and made further gains on the tenth and last to go with a bogey on the 11th.
Tanihara signed for a 69, while Wattel missed a short putt for eagle on the last in a 71 and DeChambeau's dramatic afternoon ended with a score of 78.
IF McEVOY’S victory in Germany was a surprise, then Dustin Johnson’ procession to the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey most certainly wasn’t. It was his third win of the season and his 19th on the PGA Tour, and he did it thanks to a final round of 66, to give him a three-shot win over Ben An and Whee Kim.
Johnson had begun the final round tied for the lead with An. Kim and Kevin Tway, but the American got off to a fast start and the outcome was never really in doubt.
"With the amount of support I get when I come up here, it's been great. Everyone's been great to me. I definitely feel like an honorary Canadian,” he said. Johnson has a famous tie to the area, with fiancee Paulina's father, hockey great Wayne Gretzky,coming from Brantford. "It was great all week, I had a lot of support out there, a lot of fans following me," Johnson said. "With my ties to Canada with Paulina and then her dad being Wayne Gretzky, it definitely helps. I get a lot of fans that pull for Wayne, they pull for me.”
Johnson finished the week on 265, 23 under par - just days after missing the cut at The Open Championship at Carnoustie. "Even after the missed cut last week, I felt like I was hitting it fine," Johnson said. "I just did not score very well at Carnoustie at all. I didn't putt good. I just scored really badly. But I felt like I hit the ball plenty good enough to be under par after two days, and I was 5 over or something. It was just bad scoring.”
"I needed to work on the putter though, which I did," Johnson said. "Started rolling the putter a lot better here this week. Really, really hit the ball well all four days.”
Johnson also won at the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in January and the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June in Memphis, Tennessee.
Kim and An each shot 69 in the round interrupted by a nearly 2-hour lightning delay. "Definitely wasn't my best day," An said. "I didn't give myself many birdie chances.” Tway had a 76 to drop into a tie for 17th at 13 under. He was trying to win his first PGA Tour title in the event where his father Bob won the last of his tour titles 15 years ago.
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