Sensational Pablo Larrazabal Wins on Home Soil
LOCAL favourite Pablo Larrazábal shot a stunning final round of 62 to claim his seventh DP World Tour title. The round featured five birdies on the trot as he won the ISPS Handa Championship by one shot.
Surprisingly, it was his first victory on home soil. And he will now be looking to add to it at PGA Catalunya next week - on his favourite golf course.
Larrazábal said: "What a day. But I knew that my golf was there. I couldn't make any putts the first three days but I told my girlfriend last night that she had to choose the clothing for the (winning) pictures!
“I knew that I had a low one in my bag and that's what I did. Today I holed putts and that was key. I mean, to shoot 62 in windy conditions with the flags out there, it was good.
"I'm glad I got the seventh (title) at home. I live one hour and 15 minutes up the road and it's very special to win in Spain, in front of a few friends of mine, and in front of my girlfriend and my brother.
“There were a lot of key moments today to keep that round going, and that hot stretch in the middle of the round was unbelievable. The golf I played on those five holes was probably the best golf in a long, long time.
“It's been tough, the last few years. When your golf is not there and then injuries, and then these 20-year-old kids are coming in and they're flying the ball 50, 60 yards over yours and you're not putting well, you're not chipping well. There are a lot of things coming into my mind.
“I thought a lot about not playing any more. And sometimes if you believe and you keep working hard, life gives you back and it's been a long road. For the trust and for the work I did, and for the patience, I think I really deserve it.”
The popular Spaniard began the final round at Infinitum's Lakes Course in a tie for sixth but catapulted himself into the lead with birdies at the fourth, seventh, ninth, tenth, 11th, 12th and 13th.
His only bogey came at the difficult 15th but he did not let that derail his challenge, responding with an outstanding birdie on the 16th and following that up with another gain at the last to sign for a 62 and set the clubhouse target at 15 under par.
But with the trio in the final group - Adrian Otaegui, Hennie du Plessis and Aaron Cockerill - all just two strokes behind Larrazábal with three holes still to complete, he faced an anxious wait to discover his fate.
He was able to celebrate his second victory in as many months, though, after his challengers could not force a playoff.
Fellow Spaniard Otaegui finished alone in second on 14 under after a birdie at the 18th, with Du Plessis and Cockerill another shot back in joint third.
Otaegui, who began the final round alongside Du Plessis and Cockerill at the top, started with birdies at the first, third and fifth to race to 13 under.
He then carded 12 straight pars to open the door for others. He gave himself an eagle chance at the last, which would have forced a play-off, but was unable to convert and had to settle for a birdie and a bogey-free 66.
“It’s been a great day, no bogeys, holed a few par putts, played really well, lots of shots to the pin," said Otaegui. "I think I did a great job and congratulations to Pablo - an amazing round. It was windy out there.
IN THE end it wasn’t pretty but a final round of 72 turned out to be good enough for Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele to complete a wire-to-wire victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
"It's awesome,” Schauffele said. "I said earlier this week if there's any success I could share with someone it would be Patrick so I'm happy we could get it done.”
Cantlay, who lost a playoff to Jordan Spieth in the RBC Heritage last week, added: "It was a great week. We had a lot of fun, both on and off the golf course, and we're really happy to get it done."
They beat Sam Burns and Billy Horschel, breaking the tournament scoring record as a result of their outstanding play over the first three rounds.
The final round was alternate shot format and Cantlay and Schauffele's even-par-72 saw them finish the week at 29-under 259 at TPC Louisiana. They broke the tournament record of 27 under set by Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown and Jonas Blixt-Cameron Smith in 2017, the first year the tournament was played as a team event.
Cantlay and Schauffele opened with a record 59 in best-ball play Thursday, and began Sunday at 29 under after shattering the 54-hole record of 23 under.
Burns and Horschel pulled within one after birdies at the eighth, 10th and 11th holes. But Burns’ tee shot on the short par-4 16th found the water and a bogey on the par-3 17th left them three behind. They shot 68.
Doc Redman and Sam Ryder were third at 24 under after a 67.
Cantlay, the defending FedExCup champion and PGA TOUR Player of the Year, won his seventh Tour title and first since the TOUR Championship in September. He was second last week in the RBC Heritage.
Schauffele won for the fifth time. He last won at the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions.
PGA Tour CHAMPIONS
SCOTT PAREL two-putted for birdie on the par-5 18th hole for a 6-under 65, and then won the inaugural ClubCorp Classic with a par on the same hole in a playoff for his second PGA Tour Champions title.
Parel won a three-man playoff at Las Colinas over Steven Alker and Gene Sauers, who both went into the hazard on the closing hole and failed to make par.
Sauers birdied his last two holes in regulation for a 63. Alker played the final eight holes in 1 over for a 68. He missed an 8-foot birdie putt in regulation for the win and joined the playoff at 11-under 202.
On the first extra hole, Alker had a long iron from a good lie in the rough but it came out heavy and into the water. He took a penalty drop and couldn’t get up and down. Sauers went into the rocks with his second shot. He took a penalty drop and missed an 8-foot putt that would have extended the playoff.
“I'm glad to win a playoff - I'm 0-3 in these things,” Parel said. “I was fortunate both the guys didn't hit the best second shots. I was just trying to get it over here and try to get up and down, which in the end turned out to be the right play.”
Ladies European Tour
ENGLAND'S Meghan MacLaren held her nerve to win the Australian Women's Classic by one shot on 10 under par.
MacLaren led after the first two rounds of the tournament, reduced to 54 holes because of rain, but had bogeys at both the fourth and sixth holes.
However, she birdied three of her last five holes to post a three-under 69 and triumph at the Bonville Golf Resort.
Sweden's Maja Stark challenged and took the lead but a double bogey at the 13th proved costly as she finished second.
"I knew someone had got to eight under and I was on seven at that point," said MacLaren. "I made a good birdie on 14 and 15 and I assumed the lead might be mine at that point.
"I kind of knew it was in my hands.
"I felt if I played the golf I knew I was capable of, I could win, but I tried not to get too far ahead of myself."
It is a third Ladies' European Tour win in Australia for MacLaren after her back-to-back wins in the 2018 and 2019 NSW Opens.
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