Sam Horsfield Claims Tense Soudal Open

In an all-day tussle with Ryan Fox, it was Horsfield who came out on top as he secured a two-shot win in Belgium

Horsfield hits a shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Beginning the final day, it had been Ryan Fox who started in front, with the Kiwi looking to add to his recent Ras Al Khaimah Classic victory in February. However, it was Englishman, Sam Horsfield, who prevailed in the duo's battle, with the 25-year-old picking up his third DP World Tour title.

Throughout the whole of the final round, we saw some fantastic spirit and sportsmanship, with both men seen regularly chatting and laughing throughout the final day. To begin with, it was overnight leader, Fox, who got off to the better start of the two, as a bogey and three birdies in his first five holes extended his lead to three.

Horsfield fought back though, with a lengthy birdie putt on the seventh proving to be "a big turning point" as he looked to track down Fox. Further birdies on the 10th and 12th followed for the Englishman, with Horsfield now back within one as the back nine commenced.

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A tight finish was on the cards and, after Fox bogeyed the par 13th, it was all tied at the top. Who was going to be the one to hold their nerve? Well, once again, it was Fox who blinked first, with a costly bogey at the short 16th dropping the 35-year-old one shot back of Horsfield with two holes to go.

Another huge moment followed at the 17th, with Horsfield needing to hole a six-footer for birdie to keep his lead intact as they headed to the difficult final hole. Hitting their drives on to opposite sides of the hole, Fox's second found the greenside bunker, whilst Horsfield clipped a superb wedge to 15-foot. Advantage to the Englishman.

Barring a holed bunker shot, the title was going to be Horsfield's and, after Fox's bunker shot finished around eight-foot from the flag, the 25-year-old duly rolled his first putt to gimme range and tapped-in for a third DP World Tour title and his first since 2020.

It was an emotional one for Horsfield who also had his girlfriend, Issi Bryon, on the bag in Belgium. The 25-year-old will now move to a career-high 63 in the World Rankings.

Horsfield speaks with his girlfriend

Horsfield and his girlfriend, Issi, during the Soudal Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I was trying not to cry when I was stood over that little tap-in", stated Horsfield following his victory. "Having Issi on the bag has been an amazing week and Mick (his regular caddie) isn't here, but I wish he was. I said yesterday that I want to do it for him and I was able to do it for him. I'm just so happy!

"Issi has been amazing this week. I've been so happy on the golf course and we have had an amazing week. I feel like I have been playing really good for a while, but haven't been able to put four rounds together, but this week I was able to and I can't wait for the PGA Championship next week."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

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