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DP World Tour: Adri Arnaus wins Catalunya Championship after beating Oliver Bekker in play-off

Adri Arnaus and Oliver Bekker finished on 11 under after 72 holes at the Catalunya Championship; after both parring the 18th five times, a par at the 17th was good enough to secure the Spaniard his first DP World Tour win; double-bogey at the 17th proves costly for England’s Laurie Canter

Last Updated: 01/05/22 6:36pm

Adri Arnaus proudly displays the trophy after winning the Catalunya Championship

Adri Arnaus edged out Oliver Bekker at the sixth play-off hole at the Catalunya Championship to claim his maiden DP World Tour victory.

The pair had finished locked together on 11-under 277 after 72 holes on the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya in Girona.

They then returned to the 18th five times and both parred it on every occasion with neither setting up a decent birdie chance as their approaches were all at least 15 feet from the hole.

The tough 17th, which had yielded only one birdie all day, was used at the sixth time of asking and Spaniard Arnaus looked to have clinched the victory with a superb second to around eight feet, with South African Bekker in the greenside rough.

Arnaus, however, missed the putt, only for Bekker to fail to get down in two and the home crowd were celebrating when the Spaniard tapped in for his par.

The 27-year-old, who had lost in his previous two play-off appearances, started the final round seven shots behind overnight leader Bekker, but he stormed into contention with a seven-under 65 which featured five birdies and an eagle at the par-five 12th where he holed a lengthy putt for his three.

Arnaus is the first player to win from seven shots back in the final round of a DP World Tour event since Alex Noren at the 2018 Open de France

Arnaus is the first player to win from seven shots back in the final round of a DP World Tour event since Alex Noren at the 2018 Open de France

Bekker, 37, who was also chasing a first DP World Tour win, could only post a level-par 72, although he did hold a three-shot lead at one stage before faltering, with two well-scrambled pars at the 17th and 18th salvaging his place in the play-off.

Oliver Bekker was bidding to add to his seven Sunshine Tour victories

Oliver Bekker was bidding to add to his seven Sunshine Tour victories

English duo Laurie Canter and Richard McEvoy (69) shared third place on nine under with Adrian Meronk of Poland (70).

Canter had started the day in second place, two behind Bekker, but stormed into the lead early on thanks to birdies at the first two holes and an eagle at the par-five third where he holed his long-range third shot from the fairway.

He then bogeyed the next two holes before double-bogeying the 10th, but he was back in a share of the lead after back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th, only to wreck his chances with an ugly double-bogey at the 17th where he drove left into the trees.

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South Africa’s Hennie du Plessis went one better than Arnaus with a 64 to tie for sixth on eight under with Edoardo Molinari, who failed to build on his eagle at the third as he carded a 72, while Bernd Wiesberger could only manage a 71 as he finished eighth on seven under.

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