Pablo Larrazábal claims Alfred Dunhill title with birdie at 18 and a nod to Tiger

Pablo Larrazábal claims Alfred Dunhill title with birdie at 18 and a nod to Tiger

Euro Tour

Pablo Larrazábal claims Alfred Dunhill title with birdie at 18 and a nod to Tiger

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Pablo Larrazábal earned his first European Tour win in nearly five years by taking inspiration from Tiger Woods’s 2008 U.S. Open victory.

The Spaniard took a three-shot lead into the final round of the $1.65 million Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa, but battled injuries and swing problems. He made six bogeys and a double bogey around Leopard Creek Country Club and was three shots off the lead at one point. However, he rallied to make three birdies in his last four holes to earn his fifth European Tour win. His 3-over 75 gave him an 8-under 280 total and a one-shot win over Sweden’s Joel Sjoholm.

“I woke up this morning and I didn’t think I was going to play,” Larrazábal said. “I couldn’t put my shoe on, I couldn’t walk to the buggy. I really struggled on the back nine. I have a big blister on my right toe and I said to myself, ‘If Tiger can win a U.S. Open with a broken leg…’ and I just fought hard.”

Alfred Dunhill ChampionshipScores

Larrazábal had gone four-and-a-half years without a European Tour victory – since the 2015 BMW International Open.

“It’s been a long road the last few years and this is where I want to be,” he added. “I want to thank all my family and my wife. This is a place that I really love and I will come back until I cannot play anymore.

“Being a winner again means so much. I’ve been working hard. I put as many hours in as I’ve put in in my golfing career and this is what for.”

The 36-year-old Spaniard picked up a check for approximately $262,000 and moves to the top of the 2020 Race to Dubai in the first event of the 2020 season. He also earns an exemption through to the end of 2021.

Former Georgia State player Sjoholm took home approximately $182,000.

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