Sam Horsfield takes maiden European Tour victory

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Englishman Sam Horsfield claimed his maiden European Tour title at the Hero Open as he held his nerve down the stretch to beat off the challenge of Belgium’s Thomas Detry and seal a one-stroke victory.

Horsfield becomes the first home winner of the Hero Open – formerly the English Open – since Lee Westwood in 1998, and the fifth English winner in total. The win moves him to the top of the UK Swing Rankings, from which the top ten players at the conclusion of the ISPS Handa Wales Open will earn exemptions to the U.S. Open in September.

Sam Horsfield won the Hero Open on Sunday. Credit: Getty Images.

The 23-year-old said of his first European Tour victory:

“It’s crazy, I can’t put it in to words. I made a bad bogey on 15, then on 17 we wanted to leave a good five wood number and I did. 233, wind out to the left, hit a great shot there.

“It’s special. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I’m thankful that the European Tour has been able to put on tournaments for us to play. I’ve been in Orlando for the last three months and felt like my game was right there, I played decently last week, had a bad finish but kept the positives from that. I played solid all week and gave myself a lot of opportunities and made one enough.”

Having endured a difficult back nine on Saturday when relinquishing the six-shot lead he had built on the front nine, Horsfield showed determination on an exciting final day at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club, maintaining his lead over the chasing pack for the vast part of the round.

He was knocked off the top of the leaderboard briefly when Detry birdied the 17th hole to move to the front on 18 under par. The Belgian missed a crucial par putt at the last, however, from four feet to drop back to 17 under alongside Horsfield.

The American-based Horsfield capitalised on the opportunity at the penultimate hole, playing the par five to perfection and picking up a shot to earn a one-one stroke advantage stepping onto the tee of the par three final hole

A deft lag putt left him with an easy par putt to lift the trophy, signing for a four under par 68 and an 18 under total. Horsfield moved to 18th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, up from 43rd.

Cormac Sharvin, the only Irish golfer to make the weekend cut, finished on five under par, 13 shots behind the leader. The Co. Down man carded a final round of 73 to match his third round score at the Forest of Arden. On the opening two days, the Irishman had shot 70 and 67 respectively to make the final two days of the competition.

Final scores:

270 S HORSFIELD (ENG) 68 63 71 68,
271 T DETRY (BEL) 67 67 71 66,
274 O FARR (WAL) 65 71 67 71, C PAISLEY (ENG) 70 68 66 70, A BJRK (SWE) 68 67 70 69,
275 M KORHONEN (FIN) 67 69 67 72, R HOJGAARD (DEN) 66 71 66 72, M PAVON (FRA) 69 67 69 70, M KIEFFER (GER) 71 69 67 68,
277 S GARCIA RODRIGUEZ (ESP) 62 69 73 73, A ROZNER (FRA) 68 67 70 72, L CANTER (ENG) 67 72 68 70, A RAI (ENG) 71 68 70 68, S JAMIESON (SCO) 71 71 70 65,
278 R ROCK (ENG) 71 69 66 72, M ARMITAGE (ENG) 72 68 67 71, J DONALDSON (WAL) 72 68 68 70, S CROCKER (USA) 67 75 66 70, J GUERRIER (FRA) 68 71 71 68, R FOX (NZL) 70 72 68 68, D COUPLAND (ENG) 68 72 71 67,
279 R BLAND (ENG) 70 68 67 74, J SJOHOLM (SWE) 70 68 68 73, R FISHER (ENG) 70 71 67 71, M SOUTHGATE (ENG) 67 74 69 69, R RAMSAY (SCO) 69 68 74 68, G PORTEOUS (ENG) 70 72 72 65,
280 J HANSEN (DEN) 68 71 66 75, C SHINKWIN (ENG) 68 69 72 71, A CHESTERS (ENG) 66 72 71 71, J STALTER (FRA) 67 71 71 71, R PARATORE (ITA) 70 70 69 71, J VEERMAN (USA) 75 66 72 67,
281 B HEBERT (FRA) 69 70 66 76, M JIMINEZ (ESP) 64 72 73 72, K SAMOOJA (FIN) 68 69 72 72, G FORREST (SCO) 69 68 72 72, W BESSELING (NED) 67 70 73 71, B STOW (ENG) 70 71 71 69, D HORSEY (ENG) 71 71 72 67,
282 N LEMKE (SWE) 70 72 64 76, A SULLIVAN (ENG) 70 70 68 74, R KARLBERG (SWE) 68 71 71 72, B POKE (DEN) 72 70 69 71, C SORDET (FRA) 69 72 72 69, S KJELDSEN (DEN) 70 71 74 67,
283 J SCRIVENER (AUS) 69 69 71 74, A LEVY (FRA) 67 69 74 73, C SHARVIN (NIR) 70 67 73 73, S KIM (USA) 67 71 72 73,
284 P LARRAZABAL (ESP) 64 75 70 75, L DE JAGER (RSA) 74 66 69 75, J CATLIN (USA) 71 70 72 71, B EVANS (ENG) 72 70 71 71, D VAN DRIEL (NED) 69 71 74 70, D WHITNELL (ENG) 69 72 76 67,
285 R SANTOS (POR) 70 69 71 75, R ENOCH (WAL) 68 72 70 75, M SCHNEIDER (GER) 73 67 72 73, R MCEVOY (ENG) 69 72 72 72, R LANGASQUE (FRA) 69 72 72 72, L SLATTERY (ENG) 70 71 72 72,
286 C PIGEM (ESP) 69 69 76 72, T PULKKANEN (FIN) 70 71 75 70,
287 S BROWN (ENG) 71 71 71 74, S TILEY (ENG) 72 67 75 73,
288 M ANTCLIFF (AUS) 72 70 73 73,
289 C SYME (SCO) 67 75 74 73,
290 T BJ?RN (DEN) 71 71 70 78,
292 M CAMPBELL (NZL) 71 71 73 77,
293 G FDEZ-CASTANO (ESP) 73 68 68 84,

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