Gavins triumphs in dramatic Ras Al Khaimah Championship finale after twice finding water

By Sports Desk February 05, 2023

Daniel Gavins recovered after twice finding the water on the 18th hole to clinch a dramatic one-shot victory at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship on Sunday.

Gavins began the final round two shots behind leader Zander Lombard, but the Englishman moved ahead with a run of five successive birdies immediately after bogeying the first.

Two strokes separated Gavins from the pursuing Alexander Bjork ahead of the final hole, where the leader initially appeared to have thrown the title away in remarkable circumstances.

Gavins drove into the water and did likewise with his approach, before pulling a 26-foot putt out of the bag to finish with a double bogey and leave him waiting anxiously on his competitors.

Bjork put himself out of the running with a bogey before Lombard missed an eagle putt to tie things up, handing Gavins his second DP World Tour victory 18 months after his first – which came at the ISPS Handa World Invitational in August 2021.

Speaking after the dramatic finish, Gavins said: "I am pretty speechless. I thought I had [thrown it away]. I put two in the water and thought 'that's one way to end the tournament'.

"I've been struggling off the tee the last two weeks and it's not a very nice tee shot to have on 18, even with a lead.

"It was a difficult hole to get through and to be fair I thought I was holing that putt for a play-off. I didn't realise Bjork had made bogey.

"I sunk the putt and went to the back of the green and saw that I was actually winning still. It was kind of a big shock." 

Bjork and Lombard were tied for second on 16-under-par, while Adrian Meronk and Thorbjorn Olesen finished one shot behind the duo in a share of fourth.

Twin brothers Rasmus and Nicolai Hojgaard began the day in contention, but the former finished 14-under and the latter dropped off to finish three shots further back. 

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