At the 187th time of asking France’s Romain Wattel finally broke through, a closing 69 being good enough for a one-shot win over Austin Connelly (66) of Canada. Connelly, who you might remember from Birkdale where he finished 14th, will turn 21 on Monday.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat was up there all day but, having not dropped a shot all day, threw in a pair of 7s at 15 and 18, both finding water, to drop away.
Wattel hadn’t finished in the top 20 all year but picked up four birdies in his first 10 holes and then held on from Connelly. Lee Westwood and Eddie Pepperell were part of a six-way tie for third.
“I came to this tournament, I was playing poorly to be honest,” Wattel said. “Last week I struggled with my game. I’ve been putting really bad the last two years – I think I’m a really good putter but the last two years were tough for me.”
1-Lee Weswtood last won on the European Tour in Malaysia three and a half years ago but his form has been coming around of late. The 44-year-old had a top 10 in the Czech Republic two weeks and was third here. Westwood feels like his swing has come back in recent weeks and is hitting a lot of fairways again so he might be one to watch as the season comes to a close.
2-Richard Finch made his first cut for 20 months in Denmark in August. He then shot 80-77 in the Czech Republic but the Hull man opened up 66-67 to sit just one off the lead.
Finch, who lost his card in 2015 and missed last year through injury, eventually tied for 17th to hopefully kickstart the second half of his career.
Shot of the week
Meet Mattias Henke, who plays off 11 and is aged 11 and doesn’t play on the European Tour. Here is taking down Ryder Cup star Chris Wood.
A day one 11 year old will never forget…
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 16, 2017
There is a good chance that a Frenchman is going to win this category every week and Gregory Havret takes the honours here. On a gloomy week weather wise there was little chance to show off your finest summer wear but the one-time US Open runner-up has hit the right note with this piece of knitwear. Who doesn’t like a good arm patch?
Pep Angles is 22 years younger than me so there is little chance of that we’re going to see eye-to-eye on what looks good and vice versa. Hence my aversion to his pedal pushers. I’m genuinely not one for tradition (where’s his collar?), I just don’t like the look of them. Yes, if you’re George Michael and it’s 1985. No, if you’re eyeing up a birdie putt in the Netherlands.
We have now had 1,000 hole-in-ones on the European Tour and Mikko Ilonen was the one to get the players over the line. The Finn did it at the 14th which was the Beat The Pro challenge hole for the week but he didn’t leave much room to get inside him.
More for the clouds than the arty shot of the Beat The Pro hole.
‘Give me five, or two..oh whatever’
And now a win ? pic.twitter.com/RBwsJ1CZVI
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 17, 2017
It’s probably fair to say that Ross Fisher is better known for his phenomenal driving and ball striking rather than his comedic wit but this was pretty good…
— Ross Fisher (@RossFisher) September 15, 2017