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After staging a seven-shot comeback, Adri Arnaus would go on to defeat Oliver Bekker at the sixth playoff hole to pick up his first DP World Tour title and first on home soil.
It had been an incredible final day's golf at PGA Catalunya, with many players firing a number of low scores around the stunning layout. For Arnaus, his seven-under-par round was good enough to force a playoff and, following a missed par putt from Bekker, the Spaniard only needed to hole a three-footer for a memorable and emotional victory.
What it means to win your first Tour title 😍@AdriArnaus | #CatalunyaChampionship pic.twitter.com/hpoAhtDPUSMay 1, 2022
Beginning the day, it was Bekker who began with a two-shot lead following a third round of 67 putting the South African clear of Laurie Canter.
It was Canter though who made the better start, with the Englishman producing an incredible birdie - birdie - eagle at the first three holes to begin his final round. For the 32-year-old, the strong start couldn't be followed, with Canter going on to make two bogies and two double bogies as he finished in a three-way tie for third.
Whilst Canter faltered, it was Arnaus who was making up the ground, with three birdies and an eagle over the first 12 holes catapulting the Spaniard up the leaderboard.
Further birdies followed at the 15th and 16th, as the 27-year-old set the clubhouse target at 11-under-par and, after a bogey at the par 3 16th from Bekker, the duo were heading to playoff holes.
A number of pars soon followed, with neither men have realistic birdie chances over the first five holes. As the light faded, the duo headed to the 17th, a par 4 which had been averaging a score of 4.52 for the day.
As both found the fairway, it was Arnaus who gave himself the first realistic chance, with a stunning 6-iron penetrating through the air and finishing just seven-foot from the hole. Under pressure, Bekker couldn't follow, as the South African pulled his approach left of the green.
Despite the pull, the 37-year-old responded with a great approach that finished just five-foot from the flag. That still left his opponent a shot at the title, but for Arnaus, he couldn't convert, with his putt pulled left straight away.
It looked as if a seventh playoff was going to be needed. However, just like the Spaniard, Bekker stepped up and pulled his putt left, with the stroke not looking as free-flowing. That left Arnaus a short putt for the win and, as he duly tapped-in, the emotion was on show, with the Spaniard launching his hat into the air before giving his caddie a huge bear hug.
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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