In an almighty back-and-forth tussle with Francesco Laporta, it was Denmark's Joachim B. Hansen who came out on top, shooting a final round 68 to secure his second European Tour title.
The duo had started the day tied at 19-under-par, but in a brutal battle, Hansen produced just one more birdie than the Italian to defeat him by a single stroke.
"This win means a lot, especially with family and friends here this time! I didn't have anything in Joburg," said Hansen.
"When I saw Jeff (Winter) win in Mallorca, I was very jealous, because he had all the friends and family with him to celebrate and I really wanted that. So, I am very happy I now get to experience that."
After making 20 birdies and just one bogey over his first three rounds, Hansen (opens in new tab) started in a share of the lead, with the 31-year-old in search of his first European Tour title in 357 days.
His round couldn't of started much better, with the Dane birdieing his opening hole to take the outright lead on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Following his birdie, both Hansen and Laporta would almost mirror each others rounds from then on, with both making birdie at the par-5 7th.
Hansen then extended his lead to two momentarily at the 10th, before Laporta birdied the 11th to bring the advantage back to one.
Trading birdies at the 13th, the lead remained one heading down the 72nd hole, and with both in the fairway, it would become a straight shootout with the approach shots.
After Hansen pulled his second shot left, it seemed to be advantage Laporta, with the Italian needing to realistically make a birdie for a playoff. However, the Italian carved his approach miles right, leaving a tricky pitch from the thick rough.
With both men on the green, Laporta would need to hole his birdie putt to apply the pressure. With a clean strike, it agonisingly stayed up, coming to rest on the lip of the hole.
Leaving two putts for victory, Hansen lagged up, duly tapping in to become the fourth Dane to win this season and to secure his spot at the DP World Tour Championship (opens in new tab) next week.
Speaking after his round, the 31-year-old said "Yesterday wasn't great. I've really struggled to find the middle of the clubface with the woods, but my putter really helped me today...
"I said to Adam (his caddie) down the last 'I'm struggling here mate,' I kept thinking too far forward. So, that was a bit hard, but I'm very happy with the win."
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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