Just three months after taking legal action against the European circuit, Adrian Otaegui has decimated the field at the Andalucia Masters to become the first player from LIV Golf to win a tournament on the DP World Tour since the breakaway league commenced.
Otaegui tore apart Valderrama in historic fashion, storming to a 54-hole tournament record on 16-under par, before a final round 68 saw the Spaniard ease to a six shot victory over Joakim Lagergren.
But beyond the dominant nature of the win, it’s Otaegui’s involvement with LIV which incurs most magnitude towards the symbolic victory witnessed in Spain.
It was only back in July that Otaegui – alongside Ian Poulter and Justin Harding – successfully filed an injunction against the DP World Tour to play in the Scottish Open. This was after Keith Pelley invoked a series of sanctions against his members for competing in the inaugural LIV Golf event.
But having now returned to the DP World Tour after three events in the Greg Norman-led series – where he’s amounted just over $1 million in prize money – his victory will surely represent a kick in the teeth to those associated with the European circuit.
Even as he made birdie upon birdie at Valderrama, the DP World Tour showed an early reluctance to highlight Otaegui’s heroics on social media, only acknowledging his name in its own right after 58 holes of action.
The golf world was also divided – a mixture of grievance towards Otaegui juxtaposed feelings of discontent against the DP World Tour over their lack of coverage…
But in the end, the 29-year-old couldn’t be ignored. Dominating the competition on home soil, Otaegui soared to victory to become just the second Spaniard alongside Sergio Garcia to win the Andalucia Masters.
“I feel so happy to have my first win in Spain,” Otaegui said after claiming his fourth DP World Tour title. “In front of those crowds, at my favourite course in Spain, just unbelievable. The whole week, the crowds were absolutely amazing.”
Indeed, it seemed only a matter of time that such a scenario would unfold. Since the Scottish Open, LIV golfers have continued to show an eagerness to tee up on the DP World Tour to obtain OWGR points – given that a legal decision over their long-time banning will not take place until February.
So after months of friction and ‘what ifs’, Otaegui now becomes the first LIV golfer to be victorious on the DP World Tour, his win representing a symbolic moment within golf’s tumultuous civil war.
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