Introduction to Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra
YOU may have never heard of Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, but he woke up this morning $4m richer after claiming the LIV Golf Bangkok title. His final round of 69 gave him a three-stroke victory.
The 22-year-old took a five-shot lead into the final round and did enough to hold off Patrick Reed and Paul Casey, the latter of whom will be left to rue an opening round of 71 after shooting 65 on both the second and third days.
Nobody bettered Lopez-Chacarra's first and second rounds of 65 and 63 respectively, and he overcame two bogeys on the front nine to finish three under on the final day and seal victory, maintaining his focus despite play being suspended for an hour and a half because of a storm in the area.
The Spaniard was a high-ranked amateur before joining the controversial Saudi-backed tour in June and now earns his first professional championship, as well as a $4million purse.
Richard Bland and Branden Grace formed part of a leading trio with Lopez-Chacarra on seven under after the opening round, but Grace withdrew with injury on Saturday while Bland could not follow up his first-day form and finished joint third along with Casey and Sihwan Kim, a stroke behind second-placed Reed.
Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka was joint-eighth at 13 under, while Bryson DeChambeau ended 14th at 10 under.
Other big names were way off the pace, with Phil Mickelson 10 shots behind Lopez-Chacarra and 2022 Open Championship winner Cameron Smith finishing a disappointing tournament tied for 41st at four under.
Who is Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra?
Lopez-Chacarra was born in Madrid on March 22, 2000. He attended Oklahoma State University and climbed to number two in the amateur world rankings. He qualified for the Korn Ferry Tour as a result of his play as an amateur but did not take up his membership. In 2021 he was the leading individual at the European Amateur Team Championship. His victory in Bangkok was his first as a professional. Because he has never played on the PGA or DP World Tour, it is impossible to provide any detailed statistics for Lopez-Chacarra, but that will not trouble his bank manager.
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