Daniel Gavins clinches Ras Al Khaimah Championship after dramatic finale

Englishman finds water twice on last before sinking 26-foot putt on 18th hole for victory

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Englishman Daniel Gavins twice found the water in a dramatic final hole before he conjured a brilliant 26-foot putt to win the Ras Al Khaimah Championship by a single shot on Sunday.

The 31-year-old held a two-shot lead going into the par-five 18th at Al Hamra Golf Club. But he put his drive in the water and then found the drink again with a three wood before sinking the long putt to card double-bogey seven that was enough to seal the victory.

He finished the tournament on 17 under par, one shot ahead of Alexander Bjork and Zander Lombard, who was unable to sink an eagle putt from 24 feet on the 18th to force a play-off.

The win was a second on the DP World Tour for Gavins.

“I’m pretty speechless to be honest,” said Gavins, who didn't have a practice round this week because of a back injury.

“I’ve been struggling off the tee the last two weeks and it’s not a very nice tee shot to have [on 18], even with a two-shot lead.

“It was a difficult hole to get through and to be fair I thought I was holing that putt for a play-off. I didn’t realise Bjork had made bogey.

“I’d put two in the water and I thought that’s one way to end the tournament. I sunk the putt and went to the back of the green and saw that I was actually winning still. It was kind of a big shock.”

Gavins began the day two shots off the lead held by Lombard and bogeyed the first hole, but responded brilliantly to birdie the next five in succession before another birdie on the eighth gave him a two-stroke lead.

Bogeys on the ninth and 12th dropped Gavins back into a tie for the lead with Bjork, but the 31-year-old birdied the 14th and 15th to move two clear again before the drama unfolded on 18.

Having driven into the water, Gavins hit an ideal drive with his second ball but was unaware that, in the group ahead, Bjork had three-putted from long range for a closing bogey.

Gavins therefore chose not to lay up with his fourth shot and hit a fairway wood into the water before taking a penalty drop, pitching on to the green and holing from 26 feet to seal a remarkable win.

Lombard had fallen four shots off the lead following an erratic first 10 holes containing an eagle, one birdie and five bogeys, but he birdied the 11th and 12th and narrowly failed to eagle the last to force extra holes.

Updated: February 06, 2023, 6:52 AM