Victor Perez Produces Putting Masterclass To Secure Dramatic Dutch Open

Following a late collapse from Ryan Fox, Victor Perez capitalised with a number of incredible putts

Victor Perez fist pumps wildly
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the back nine ebbed and flowed at the Dutch Open, Ryan Fox found himself with a three shot lead as he played the par 5 18th. However, this was just the start of a dramatic 90 minutes as the New Zealander double bogeyed the hole following a drive that found a watery grave.

Fox's mistake soon put eventual winner, Victor Perez, in a spot to steal the title, something he hadn't done since the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Holing a 35-foot birdie putt at the par 3 17th, a birdie at the last would secure the victory but, despite facing a shot to win from considerably less range than that of the 17th, Perez missed, meaning a playoff was imminent. 

What followed can only be described as unbelievable, with Frenchman, Perez, holing a number of lengthy putts to secure a second DP World Tour title and leave Fox kicking himself with what should have been a comfortable victory.

Beginning the final day, it had been Perez and Matt Wallace who started top of the leaderboard with a number of names just behind them. The round couldn't have started any better for Perez, with three birdies in seven holes giving him a two shot cushion through the front nine.

That buffer was soon wiped out however, with a bogey at the 10th being capitalised on by Fox, who had just gone birdie-eagle to take the outright lead by two. Since winning the Ras al Khaimah Championship in February, Fox has been one of the in-form players and, with a birdie at the 14th, it seemed he would be adding a third DP World Tour win to his trophy cabinet.

What followed was a costly double bogey at the last, with yet another four shot swing occurring as Perez finished birdie-par to force a playoff. At the first hole, the Frenchman holed a 15-footer to keep the game alive, with both men making pars at the second to make a third venture up the 18th.

Sticking his drive in the fairway bunker, Perez hit a lay-up just like he had done regularly on Sunday, to around 150-yards. For Fox, who had just produced a 350-yard monster drive to leave himself a 7-iron in, duly struck his approach to the heart of the green.

Ryan Fox reacts to a missed putt at the 18th hole

Fox would rue yet another costly finish as he secured his sixth top 15 finish in seven starts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following him in, Perez put his wedge just inside Fox's, with it now likely that the New Zealander would have two putts for the win. Rolling it up to gimme range, it was now do or die for Perez. What happened next? well, a 30-foot rocket that hit the hole and dropped for a birdie. Playoff hole number four was now in progress, but this time at the par 3 17th, not the par 5 18th.

Like regulation play, both men found the green with Perez set to go first from 30-feet. As he took the putter back, his ball once again never left the centre of the cup, leaving the Sky Sports commentary team stunned!

Now needing to hole a lengthy putt of his own, Fox couldn't oblige, with the New Zealander coming out of the stroke straight away. As a result, the title was Perez's.

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.