Sport - Golf - Daniel Gavins
Daniel Gavins winning putt Image Credit: Harry Grimshaw, Gulf News

Daniel Gavins shot a final round three under par 69 to finish on 17 under par for 72 holes on a day of high drama to win the $2 million Ras Al Khaimah Championship at Al Hamra Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah on the DP World Tour.

31 year-old Gavins started the final round two back of the round three leader, Zander Lombard (RSA). An outward nine holes of six birdies, two bogeys and a par, to total 32 shots took Gavins to the top of the on-course leaderboards.

A bogey on 12 was followed by more birdies on 14 and 15 to take the tournament by the scruff of the neck.

Gavins stood on the par five 18th tee measuring 576 yards with a two stroke lead.

A carved tee shot into the water was followed by a perfect third shot off the tee and then another carved fairway wood shot into the water looked like he was handing over the trophy and all the spoils to others. After a penalty drop around the green followed by a modest pitch saw him reach the green in six shots.

With Alexander Bjork (Swe), unknown to Gavins, taking a bogey six on the 72nd hole in the group ahead, Gavins holed what he thought was a 30 foot putt to tie the lead.

In fact it was for the win, with Lombard narrowly missing his eagle putt to tie in the group behind, Lombard settled for tied second with Bjork.

This is Gavins second DP World Tour win in his 98th appearance, following his first win in the 2021 ISPS HANDA World Invitational.

It moves him up 95 places to seventh in the 2022 – 2023 Race to Dubai Rankings and earns him the winner’s cheque of €311,954.42.

On completing his round Gavins said, ‘I feel speechless, to be honest. I just want to quickly thank my mum and dad - I forgot to thank them last time when I won!’

Speaking about his double bogey on the 18th, he added: ‘I've been struggling off the tee for the last two weeks and it's not a very nice tee-shot to have, even with a two-shot lead.’

‘It was a difficult hole to get through and fortunately I holed a 30-footer.

"I thought I had (given the tournament away). I put two in the water and thought - ‘Well that's one way to end the tournament really.’’

‘When I sunk the putt and then went to the back of the green and saw that I was actually winning still, it was kind of a big shock!’

Of the locally based players Adrian Meronk (Pol) had the equal best of the final round, a 65 to finish tied fourth on 273, Thorbjorn Oleson (Den) on the same mark with a 67, Adri Arnaus (Spain) finished tied sixth and Rafa Cabrera Bello (Spain) tied 13th.

Final Results (Par 72, 7,400 yards)

D. Gavins (Eng) 68, 66, 68, 69 = 271

A. Bjork (Swe) 67, 69, 68, 68 = 272

Z. Lombard (RSA) 69, 68, 63, 72 = 272

A. Meronk (Pol) 68, 65, 75, 65 = 273

T. Oleson (Den) 72, 68, 66, 67 = 273