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Week 17: Björk moves to a career best of World No.73

April 30, 2018

European and Asian Tour – Volvo China Open

Alexander Björk became the first Swede to lift the Volvo China Open trophy after he closed with a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 to win by one shot at the Volvo China Open.

The Swede entered the day a shot off the lead but was part of a six-way tie at one point on the front nine as the round ebbed and flowed in dramatic fashion at Topwin Golf & Country Club.

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Jordan Smith signed for a brilliant 64 to set the clubhouse target at 16 under but Björk joined him with a birdie on the 12th and he held the lead on his own after another on the 15th.

Spaniards Jorge Campillo and Adrian Otaegui joined him in top spot but another gain on the 17th edged Björk ahead and he was left with an anxious wait at 18 under.

A three-putt on the 17th from Otaegui left him and playing partner Matt Wallace both needing eagles up the last to force a play-off, with Otaegui making a birdie to take second place on his own.

Web.com Tour – United Leasing & Finance Championship

José de Jesus Rodriguez entered the final round at the United Leasing & Finance Championship one stroke back of the lead, Rodriguez put together a closing 2-under 70 to finish the week at 6-under 282, good for his first title on the Web.com Tour. Sitting one stroke back of Rodriguez was 2017 Ben Hogan Award finalist Wyndham Clark, who carded a 5-under 67 to move into contention.

Rodriguez opened play Sunday at Victoria National Golf Club with four-straight pars before picking up a birdie on the par-3 fifth. He followed up the birdie with two more on the seventh and eighth, making the turn at 3-under 33 and taking the lead from Maverick McNealy, who hadn’t given it up since Thursday afternoon. Rodriguez would battle on the back nine, picking up his first bogey at the par-5 15th after his third shot ended up in the deep rough.

“I had chances for birdies on the front nine,” he said of the round. “I was making very good putts, thanks to my caddie. He helped me, and this win is for him too. Then on the back nine I started with a birdie. I got a bogey on the par 5, a little mistake, but I’m good. I’m happy.”

As the 37-year-old stood over his final putt on No. 18, he had no idea where he sat on the leaderboard. It wasn’t until the putt dropped that his caddie shared the life-changing news – he had won on the Web.com Tour.

Challenge Tour – Turkish Airlines Challenge

Joachim B Hansen claimed his first European Challenge Tour title with a cool performance in the Antalya heat at the Turkish Airlines Challenge.

After a third round of 69 set him on the road to glory with the overnight lead going into the final 18 holes, Hansen carefully navigated the New Course at Gloria Golf Club to secure his maiden victory on Europe’s top developmental tour.

With seven players just one shot back on 11 under par going into the final round, Hansen said that ‘anyone could win it’ but in reality, the Dane never gave anyone else a chance.

He started with a flurry of three birdies in the first five holes as he moved to 15 under par, while playing partner Simon Forsström bogeyed three of the opening five.

German Max Schmitt began the day three shots back but a blemish-free front nine gave him a share of the lead after registering a birdie on the ninth hole.

Hansen carded a fourth birdie of the round on the par four eighth to make the turn in 33 and re-take the outright lead, with Schmitt, among others, just beginning to apply the pressure on the 27 year old.

However, another birdie for Hansen on the par four 11th extended his lead to three and he was looking like he may run away with it.

Road to Ras Al Khaimah Number One Lorenzo Gagli posted three birdies in his final nine holes to sign for a closing 67 and set the clubhouse lead at 15 under par, while Challenge Tour debutant Jack Singh Brar later finished with three birdies in his final four holes to sit alongside Gagli.

With the Italian and the young Englishman applying the pressure on Hansen, he followed three consecutive pars with a bogey at the 14th as he slipped back to 16 under par with his lead shrinking to one.

The chasing pack did their best to drag Hansen back into a dog fight, but the great Dane came out unscathed with birdies at the 16th and 17th to move to 18 under par.

Japan Golf Tour – The Crowns

YE Yang picked up his first title in 8 years at the Japan Golf Tour's The Crowns, shooting 67 in all 4 rounds. Yang moves to World No. 349.

Sunshine Tour - Mopani Redpath Zambia Open 2018

Rourke van der Spuy admits he had to fight off nerves in the final round of the Mopani Redpath Zambia Open where he signed for three-under-par 69 to win his second Sunshine Tour title by four shots on Sunday.

“I obviously felt a bit nervous today,” he admits, “but I managed to hold my nerve and finish strong. It was a really good week from day one, and kind of built up the momentum all week. Started off with a solid round and the game kind of felt like it got better throughout the week.”

After rounds of 70-67 and 66, Van der Spuy started the final round leading by two and wasted no time in emphasising his intentions at Nkana Golf Club. He opened with birdies on one and two but dropped a shot on the sixth. He then made two more birdies on the seventh and ninth to turn in 33.

He made an unwanted bogey at the 10th but swiftly recovered with a birdie on the par-three 11th. Two pars later, it looked like he was in trouble as he made back-to-back drops on 14 and 15. But, as it was the case in round three, Van der Spuy made an eagle on the 17th to finish the tournament on 16-under-par 272.

“It was a good battle out there,” he said of the duel he and Justin Harding had during the final round of the tournament. “It was very fun playing with Justin. He had a good run out there; I made a couple of bogeys and he made a couple of birdies and that was quite a momentum swing. But, certainly, the eagle on the 17th, two days in a row, was a nice capping point for a really good week.”

PGA Tour of Australasia - SP PNG Golf Open

Daniel Gale has secured his first victory on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, running away with the SP PNG Open title in the final round.

Gale shot 6-under in the final round to finish 23-under the card and 9 shots clear from runners-up Braden Becker and Tim Stewart at 14-under the card.

This marks Gale's first win on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.

ProGolf Tour – Haugschlag NÖ Open

As Mathieu Decottignies Lafon entered the clubhouse as leader with 12 under par on Friday afternoon he didn’t expect to receive a trophy on that day. „After the first two rounds I was quite sure that the winner will have to score at least 15 under par; and I was far away from doing that.“ A pretty accurate guess: With 14 under par and a two-shot advance David Heinzinger arrived at the 18th tee. But due to heavy wind his ball found the water, a bad chip out of the drop-zone and three putts made him even miss the playoff.

Nevertheless, Decottignies Lafon can be proud of his performance: With 65 strokes the 25-year-old did not only share the days best round with Austrian Berni Reiter and German Max Kramer but also the best score of the whole event – even though he had to note three bogeys on 11, 14 and 18. „My long game was pretty good this week, I hit some solid iron shots and even my putts, that were far behind my expectations in the last time, were okay on these fantastic greens“, the Frenchman said. „I had to change a lot in my game, but that finally pays of now. I really hope that I’ll make it into the Top 5 at the end of the season.”

Nordic Golf League - Bravo Tours Open - by Visit Tønder

Nicolai Hojgaard won his first OWGR Eligible Titel in just 4 tournaments at the Nordic Golf Leagues Bravo Tours Open - by Visit Tønder.

 




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