ANZ Championship
ANZ Championship
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Paul Casey wins by four points

He may have leaked a bit of oil in the dying stages but 25-year-old Paul Casey has triumphed in a grandstand finish at the ANZ Championship at NSW Golf Club with a fabulous birdie at the 18th to claim his second European Tour title.

Playing partner Stuart Appleby almost stole the show with a desperate eagle chip on the same hole. The ball kissed the cup but stayed above ground and the glory belonged to the Englishman.

It was a fitting end for one of the biggest stars of the American amateur college system who can probably look to his 71st hole for the crunch shot.

After dropping shots, and points, at both 15 and 16 the 25-year-old looked to be in real trouble when he found the greenside bunker at the par-3 17th. An ordinary blast left him with a six-metre putt to avoid dropping within a point of the rest of the field.

But, as he has done all week, Casey rolled the ball dead-centre to stay at 43 points and cling to a two-point lead.

Appleby, struggling for most of the day, made a superb ten-metre putt of his own at 17 to get within four points and give himself a chance if he could make eagle at the par-five last. But as the chip rolled past the hole so did his chance at the title.

Under the modified format, players are awarded five points for eagle, two for birdies, none for par, minus one for bogey and minus three for double or worse. In the unlikely event of an albatross, the player is awarded eight points.

Casey was erratic for much of the day with wayward tee and approach shots causing him difficulty.

But a red-hot putter kept all challengers at bay and eventually handed him his second European Tour title in the past two years.

Appleby and O’Hern shared second spot at 41 points, Peter Lonard and Jarrod Moseley fourth at 39 points.

A tricky breeze blew across the course for much of the last day and caused several strange happenings in the closing round.

Peter Lonard, who eagled the first and got to 19 points for the day and 43 for the tournament to join Casey atop the leaderboard after 13 holes, came unstuck at the 14th with a double bogey and dropped three points.

He failed to improve on that score over the closing holes and finished with 16 points for the day.

Scott Hend, who picked up six points in the first five holes to be in contention, also struck trouble with a bogey at the sixth and a pick-up at the seventh after driving into the ti-tree and seeing his hack-out go back over his head when it ricocheted off a bush.

England’s Steve Webster encountered a similar problem at the 15th and ended up throwing his ball out of the bushes.

Hend eventually finished his round with eight points and 38 for the tournament.

On the flip side, Jarrod Moseley racked up 15 points in his round with eight birdies and a bogey.

Greg Turner, who teed off in the 20th group out, also played well to card 64 for 18 points for the round and 38 points for the tournament.

Victoria’s Martin Doyle shot the round of the day with 19 points. Doyle posted 10 birdies against a lone bogey to finish with 37 points for the tournament.



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