Joachim B Hansen Seals Thrilling Victory in Dubai
JOACHIM B HANSEN sealed his place in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship by winning the AVIV Dubai Championship. It is his second European Tour victory.
Hansen carded a four-under 68 on a tense final day at Jumeriah Golf Estates, posting four birdies in a bogey-free round to end the week on 23 under and claim a one-shot win.
The 31-year-old was travelling alone when he won in South Africa last year but he was delighted to have his family at the side of the 18th green as he holed the winning putt this time.
"It means a lot, especially with family here and friends this time, there was nothing in Joburg," he said. "When I saw Jeff Winther win in Mallorca I was very jealous because he had all the family and friends celebrating and I really wanted that. I'm really glad I get to experience that."
Hansen has now made just one bogey in 83 holes and while he felt he played some of the best golf of his career over the first three days in Dubai, he was happy to be able to grind out a win on Sunday.
"I really struggled finding the middle of the club on the woods so I didn't drive it well," he added. "The putter helped me today, I putted a lot better today than yesterday so that kept me in the game.
"It’s very nice going into next week. I’ve played very nice in the last few weeks and have been really close to playing really good, which I did this week. So I’m just going to take next week as a bonus week and try to enjoy it.
“It’s four wins, some season for Danish golf. I hope it inspires lots of golfers back home.”
Overnight co-leader Francesco Laporta and Bernd Wiesberger finished in tied-second, while Andy Sullivan played his last six holes in seven under to jump into a share of fourth alongside Min Woo Lee, Jazz Janewattananond and defending champion Antoine Rozner.
Hansen started the day tied for the lead but edged ahead with a 10-foot birdie at the par-four first, where Rozner also picked up a shot to move alongside Laporta in tied-second.
The final group all exchanged pars over the next five holes, while Kalle Samooja - playing in the group behind - responded to a bogey at the third by posting three consecutive birdies from the fifth to briefly get within one of the lead.
Hansen holed a putt from off the green to match Rozner and Laporta's birdies at the par-five seventh, moving him to 21 under, with the Dane then doubling his advantage after making a close-range birdie at the tenth.
Laporta responded by birdieing the par-three next and joining Hansen in taking advantage of the par-five next, while Wiesberger joined him in tied-second when he birdied five of his last seven holes to close a final-round 65 and set the clubhouse target at 22 under.
Hansen converted a difficult par-save at the 17th to retain a one-shot lead heading to the par-five last, where a two-putt par was enough to complete a memorable victory and also secure a last-minute invite into next week's DP World Tour Championship.
Laporta was unable to find a final-hole birdie that would've forced a play-off, seeing him sign for a blemish-free 69, while Rozner dropped back to 20 under despite cancelling out a double-bogey at the 15th by birdieing two of his last three holes.
Padraig Harrington ended the week in tied-eighth after a bogey-free 67 and Tommy Fleetwood finished a further stroke back in a share of 13th alongside Martin Kaymer, while Paul Casey dropped down the leaderboard following a level-par 72.
JASON KOKRAK clearly likes Texas. He won his second PGA Tour event in the state in less than six months on Sunday, claiming the Houston Open and denying Scottie Scheffler his maiden PGA Tour victory.
“I feel very blessed to be standing here,” Kokrak said. “I really didn't have my best stuff on Saturday but I made some putts. That’s what kept me in it.”
Scheffler led the way with nine holes to play but Kokrak made four birdies on the trot on the back nine to finish at 10 under, while others faltered. Scheffler and Martin Trainer simply couldn't live with Korkrak.
Scheffler made bogeys at the 10th, 11th and 14th to fall back in the pack before two late birdies allowed him to finish in a tie for second place, two behind Korkrak
Trainer arrived in Houston ranked 1,310th in the world, having made just one cut in seven months.
Kevin Tway, who struggled through a 73 in the third round, fought back and finished with a birdie putt on the final hole to end up in a second-place tie with Scheffler. Kramer Hickok posted a 69 to finish third at 7 under.
Trainer’s only victory came at the 2019 Puerto Rico Open - his only top-10 on the PGA Tour in his career - but he was still in contention until a bogey at the 17th. Unfortunately for him, he also missed a par putt on No. 18 and dropped to T-5 at 6 under.
Meanwhile, Matthew Wolff, who was just a single shot off the lead at the start of the day, struggled to start, but produced the shot of the day with a nine iron on the 187-yard par-three ninth hole. Wolff’s shot bounced before the hole and rolled in, marking his first ace on the PGA Tour.
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