Pablo Larrazabal is one of the game's biggest characters and, on Sunday, in his home country of Spain, the 38-year-old produced one of the best rounds of his career, as nine birdies, eight pars and just one bogey meant a final round 62 and a one-shot win over fellow countryman, Adrian Otaegui.
Despite starting the day three shots back, Larrazabal was very confident, revealing in an interview following his win that he asked his girlfriend on Saturday night to: "Wear some nice clothing for the pictures for when he won on Sunday".
He added: "I knew I had a low round in my bag and that is what I did. Today, I holed putts and to shoot 62 in windy conditions with some tucked flags was really good. I had to wait following my round, so I had to keep concentrating, but thankfully, there was no play-off."
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Following weather delays at the Infinitum Lakes Course, the third round was eventually finished early on Sunday morning and, following the completion of the round, we were in for a thrilling afternoon of action, with a three-way tie setting-up a dramatic conclusion.
Larrazabal began steadily, with three birdies over his opening nine putting him closer to the leaders who, thanks to solid starts themselves, were bunching up at the top of the leaderboard.
However, a run of five straight birdies from the 9th to the 14th put Larrazabal in front momentarily. Not even a bogey at the par 4 15th could derail his momentum, with a stunning long range putt at the next putting him back on top by one.
A solid two-putt par followed at the 17th, with the 38-year-old safely birdieing the par 5 18th to move his buffer to two strokes as the final few groups closed out their rounds in Spain.
With just one group left to finish, Larrazabal was forced to watch fellow countryman, Otaegui, play his eagle putt which, if it went in, would force a play-off. However, the lengthy putt never looked like dropping, and with that, the title was Larrazabal's, his first on home soil and seventh on the DP World Tour.
"The party will be in my house tonight!" announced the Spaniard, who will now move well inside the top-10 of the DP World Tour Order of Merit, as well as number 68 in the world rankings, his best ranking in seven-and-a-half years!
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Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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