Daniel Gavins Wins Ras Al Khaimah Championship Despite Final Hole Disaster

Daniel Gavins claimed the Ras Al Khaimah Championship, even after putting two golf balls in the water on the 18th

Gavins fist pumps after holing the winning putt at the 72nd hole
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Daniel Gavins survived a chaotic final-hole scare to emerge victorious in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club, with a superb final-round 69 putting him at 17-under, one-shot ahead of Sweden’s Alexander Bjork and South Africa’s Zander Lombard.

Gavins had walked off the 17th hole two shots ahead of Bjork but, what happened on the final hole was mind-boggling to say the least, as he blocked his tee-shot into the water. Thankfully, his second tee shot managed to find the centre of the fairway, but more drama was to follow. 

The series of events which then unfolded would have had golf fans across the world cowering behind their hands, as Gavins put his approach shot into the drink running up the right hand side of the 18th hole. 

Daniel Gavins with trophy

(Image credit: Getty)

The 31 year-old seemed oblivious to the fact that Bjork had made a bogey to drop three-shots behind and, without that knowledge, felt as though he had to go for the green in order to win the tournament. 

Gavins then dropped and left his chip 26-foot short of the flag before holing an outstanding putt to put one hand on the trophy with Lombard giving himself a chance to force a play-off with a spectacular second shot. However, the South African saw his putt slip past by inches, allowing Gavins to put both hands on the trophy and make it two wins on the DP World Tour.

“I’ve been struggling off the tee the last two weeks and it’s not a very nice tee shot to have with a two shot lead, so I’ve had a bit of an open face all day really, so yeah, it was a difficult hole to kind of get through and fortunately I holed a 30-footer on the last. To be fair, I thought I was holing that for the play-off and I didn't realise that Bjork had made bogey somewhere so I thought that was the play-off.” 

With the Englishman being so close to nearly giving the tournament away, he was under no illusion that what had happened could have ended his hopes of victory. “You know I put two in the water and I thought that’s one way to kind of end the tournament really. So, I swung the putter, went to the back of the green and saw that I was actually winning still, so that was a big shock.”

Gavins had oozed calmness all day as he moved into the lead following his tremendous four-under on the front-nine which saw him start the day with bogey. However five birdies in a row from the second to the sixth propelled him up the leaderboard. Another one on the eighth followed and a bogey at nine hindering his progress only slightly.

Moving through to the toughest part of the course, he did indeed bogey the 12th, but birdies on the 14th and 15th gave Gavins the lead. Up until his near-disaster on the 18th, there had been no real doubts of victory but, thankfully for the Englishman, none of his competitors could capitalise on his 18th hole blunder.

Cieran Faulder

Cieran joined the Golf Monthly team having previously written for other digital outlets like Reach PLC and Northern Golfer. After studying Journalism at Northumbria University, Cieran went on to complete an MA at the University of Sunderland. A big golf fan, he currently plays at Blyth Golf Club, where he holds a handicap of 8. Citing his favorite golfer as Tiger Woods, Cieran regards himself as the best snap hooker of a ball in the North of England.