Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina made five birdies in the last six holes to win the SAS Masters by two shots from Jamie Donaldson of Wales. It was a fourth career European Tour win for the 39-year-old from Buenos Aires.
Gonzalez led the tournament at Barsebäck G & CC near Malmö at the halfway point but a third round of 77 left him two shots behind Marcus Fraser of Australia.
After two bogeys on the front nine of his final round, Gonzalez was struggling and appeared to have played himself out of the tournament. But, a birdie at the par-5 ninth was the trigger for an incredible back nine charge.
Birdies at the 13th and 14th were followed by another at the par-5 16th. At that point Gonzalez moved back into a tie for the lead with Donaldson and Jeppe Huldahl of Denmark.
When the Argentinian’s drive at the tough penultimate hole veered to the right it looked like he might find trouble. But the ball rebounded into a position where the 39-year-old had a chance to reach the green. His approach was well-struck and on line, but it came up short and plugged in the greenside bunker.
It was a nasty spot and it seemed he would do well just to get his third shot somewhere close to the flag. But, incredibly, Gonzalez blasted out and the ball rolled into the cup. He took a one-shot lead to the final tee, sitting at -9.
Gonzalez found trouble from the tee again on the 18th and Jamie Donaldson, who’d finished on -8, was given hope he may still make a playoff. But, Gonzalez played an incredible recovery shot from the left hand trees. He blasted out of the rough and over the birches in front of him to land his second shot just five feet from the pin. He rolled in the birdie effort and the SAS Masters title was his.
“It's been a hard year, but I was fighting, fighting, fighting. I had the feeling that you can always make it if you work hard and never lose faith.” Said Gonazlez. “I don't know whether the shot on the last was luck or just brilliant!”
SAS Masters Barsebäck G & CC, Malmö, Sweden July 23-26, purse €1,600,000, par 73
1 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 68 68 77 69 282 Titleist 2 Jamie Donaldson (Wal) 71 72 73 68 284 Titleist 3 Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 72 70 70 74 286 Titleist T4 Martin Erlandsson (Swe) 70 70 72 76 288 Titleist T4 Marcus Fraser (Aus) 72 69 70 77 288 T4 Oskar Henningson (Swe) 70 72 73 73 288 Titleist T4 Marcus Higley (Eng) 72 71 70 75 288 Titleist T4 Jacob Oleson (Den) 73 72 75 68 288 T4 Lee Slattery (Eng) 67 70 75 76 288 T4 Nathan Smith (USA) 75 71 71 71 288
Titleist signifies Titleist ball usage only
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Tips on how to play better, latest equipment reviews, interviews with the biggest names and more.
Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
Jay Monahan Reveals Crunch PIF Talks But 'Multiple Parties' Still Involved As He Also Lifts The Lid On His Mental Health Issues
Jay Monahan will meet PIF boss Yasir Al-Rumayyan but says 'multiple parties' are still in talks over investing in the PGA Tour, while also lifting the lid on his own mental health issues
By Paul Higham Published
Investec South African Open Championship Prize Money Payout 2023
Thriston Lawrence defends his title in Johannesburg as the new DP World Tour season continues
By Mike Hall Published