Monday, May 20, 2024

Otaegui secures victory at Volvo China Open – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Adrian Otaegui overturned a five-shot deficit to secure his fifth DP World Tour title at the Volvo China Open and earn a spot in the US PGA Championship later this month.

The Spaniard entered the final round five-strokes behind Swede Sebastian Söderberg, who had sat on the lead since Friday after Saturday’s third round was cancelled due to thunder and lightning in the Shenzhen area.

Brighter conditions greeted the field for the final round at Hidden Grace Golf Club and Otaegui made a terrific start with four birdies and five pars on his front nine to move into a share of the lead at the turn. Another gain at the par-five 13th, followed by back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 saw him hit the front for the first time at 18 under par.

The 31-year-old held his nerve to par the par-four 18th hole and sign for a seven under par closing 65 and secure a one-shot victory over three-time DP World Tour winner Guido Migliozzi, who finished second.

“I’m very, very happy. I had to wait a little bit since I finished, see what was happening in the final group but luckily for me, things turned out well and I’m extremely happy,” said Otaegui.

“I was starting five shots back and I tried not to look at the leaderboard, not think about the result, try to play how I played on Thursday and Friday and think if things go well, it’s a course where I can have some birdie chances.”

Söderberg went out of bounds with his final tee-shot for a closing double bogey, which saw him slide into a tie for third alongside Englishman Paul Waring and Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach at 16 under.

Lloyd Jefferson Go from the Philippines finished in sixth at 15 under par, while South Africa’s Brandon Stone signed a final-round 64 to sit one shot further back in seventh.

Austrian Matthias Schwab and American Johannes Veerman shared eighth place at 13 under, while France’s Antoine Rozner wrapped up the top ten at 12 under.

Otaegui becomes the first Spanish player to win the Volvo China Open and climbs 46 places to 13th on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex and commented: “I have been putting well, I was feeling more and more confident through the week with the putter and I knew if I had birdie chances that I could potentially hole a few. I think I was actually feeling more calm through the round.

“I hit some very, very good shots on the last few holes. I think the four-iron I hit on 16 was very good, I nearly holed it. The three-wood on 17, the second shot, was extremely good so I just felt good and kept playing my game.

“Playing a Major this year was a big goal for me. I’m delighted that I will be at the US PGA Championship in two weeks, it will be just enough time to rest a little bit at home next week and then head to America.”

The win catapults Otaegui to third place on the Asian Swing Rankings to earn a coveted spot in the US PGA Championship alongside Söderberg, who won the Rankings, and Japan’s Keita Nakajima who finished second.

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