Varner snatches Saudi International title with stunning walk-off eagle

By Sports Desk February 06, 2022

Harold Varner III staged a remarkable late recovery in Sunday's final round at the Saudi International to land his second professional win.

There have been plenty of eyes on the Asian Tour event this week following proposals for a lucrative Saudi Arabian 'super league' – and those watching were treated to a dramatic finish.

Varner, whose only prior success came at the Australian PGA Championship in December 2016, had held a one-shot lead through three rounds and saw potential challengers fade on Sunday.

Tommy Fleetwood had been two back, but five bogeys on the back nine made for a three-over 73 and a share of eighth.

He was joined there by defending champion Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner, who was never really in contention over the final 18 holes as he battled to an even-par 70.

Varner was not entirely convincing himself, however. Twelve pars and a birdie through 13 holes kept the 31-year-old in control, only for a serious wobble to open the door to a surging Bubba Watson.

Watson had turned in 30 before also finding some difficulties on the back nine, but Varner's double-bogey at 14 was followed by a bogey at 16.

Two-time Masters champion Watson produced a clutch birdie-eagle finish to claim a two-stroke clubhouse lead, while Varner had two to play.

However, in a stunning response, Varner matched Watson, moving back to within one with a birdie and then sinking an improbable long eagle putt at the par-five 18th to win outright.

As the 99th-ranked outsider jumped for joy in the arms of his caddy, Watson dashed down to congratulate his rival.

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