Larrazabal triumphs in three-way play-off at Pecanwood Classic to claim sixth tour title

By Sports Desk March 13, 2022

Pablo Larrazabal won a three-way play-off against Adri Arnaus and Jordan Smith to claim his sixth title on the DP World Tour, winning the Pecanwood Classic in South Africa on Sunday.

The Spaniard finished at 22 under after carding a 67 in the final round at Pecanwood Golf and Country Club in Hartbeespoort, and he was joined on that 72-hole score by countryman Arnaus and Englishman Smith. Arnaus also finished with a 67, while Smith shot a closing 65.

Larrazabal held his nerve to see off Arnaus in an initial run down the 18th hole, before capitalising on an error from Smith off the tee the second time around to make a winning birdie putt.

"What a day," Larrazabal said on the DP World Tour website. "I felt great this morning. It was one of those days where you just feel great and you know you’re going to have a chance. I started fast to get into the lead very quick."

It marks a first win on the tour for the 38-year-old since he claimed the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2019.

The circuit remains in South Africa now for next weekend's Steyn City Championship, before moving on to Qatar for the rearranged Qatar Masters.

Related items

  • DeChambeau: U.S. Open success 'the highlight of my life' DeChambeau: U.S. Open success 'the highlight of my life'

    Bryson DeChambeau described his second U.S. Open triumph as the highlight of his life after edging out Rory McIlroy in a dramatic finish to Sunday's final round at Pinehurst.

    DeChambeau, who won the 2020 edition of the event in Mamaroneck, went into the fourth and final round with a three-shot lead over McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay and Matthieu Pavon.

    As Pavon carded a one-over 70 and Cantlay shot par on Sunday, it came down to a thrilling head-to-head battle between DeChambeau and McIlroy.

    McIlroy moved two shots clear by sinking a terrific 27-foot putt on the 13th, managing four birdies in his first 14 holes, but he inexplicably missed two putts to save par from inside four feet on the closing stretch, putting DeChambeau in pole position.

    The American looked to be in trouble when he missed the green with his second shot on the par-four last, but a stunning pitch from the sand teed him up for a four-foot putt to seal the title.

    "I felt like I was hitting the driver the way I wanted today," DeChambeau said during the trophy presentation. 

    "I just kept staying the course, focused on trying as many fairways as I could."

    Reflecting on the final hole, he said: "I got myself out of trouble really well but I can't believe that up and down, it was probably the best shot of my life.

    "I was just trying to land it pretty much where I landed it. I knew that was huge to get up and down to win this huge prestigious championship. It's the highlight of my life."

    McIlroy will now be left to rue those missed putts as he failed to end his 10-year major drought, finishing one shot behind the champion for a second straight edition of the U.S. Open.

    The open nature of the course at Pinehurst No. 2 allowed DeChambeau a clear view of McIlroy's play down the final straight, and he says their battle made his win more enjoyable. 

    "I even saw on 10 where he made birdie," DeChambeau said. "I'm like, 'oh, man, he's gunning, he's going for it'. I had to put my foot on the pedal and push down pretty hard.

    "I could hear 'Rory, Rory' chants. That was fun because it gave me the knowledge of what I had to do. There was also a lot of, 'go USA, go Europe'. It was a fun battle between us."

  • U.S. Open: Agony for McIlroy as DeChambeau triumphs by one shot U.S. Open: Agony for McIlroy as DeChambeau triumphs by one shot

    Bryson DeChambeau triumphed at the U.S. Open for the second time after Rory McIlroy fluffed his lines on Sunday.

    With the pressure on in the final stages of the fourth round at Pinehurst, McIlroy's major hoodoo continued as he bogeyed three of the final four holes.

    It meant overnight leader DeChambeau had the chance to put in for par on the 18th and snatch victory by a single point.

    McIlroy's last miss, on the 18th, came after he had seen DeChambeau skew a tee shot into the rough, with the Northern Irishman then planting an excellent chip within a couple of feet of the hole.

    But the ball rolled agonisingly around the lip as McIlroy dropped another shot, finishing on five under for the tournament.

    DeChambeau did not offer McIlroy another chance, drilling a shot out of a bunker and onto the green before sinking a four-foot put to spark huge celebrations in the crowd.

    It condemned McIlroy to arguably the most painful defeat of his career, as a fifth major title continues to allude him.

    The 35-year-old, who was held off by a single point by Wyndham Clark at last year's U.S. Open, had played brilliantly through the round, and four birdies between the ninth and 13th holes had him on course to win his first major since he triumphed at The Open in 2014.

    DeChambeau, on the other hand, could not get going on the back nine, exchanging a pair of birdies with two bogeys, but he steadied himself on the 17th with an excellent drive.

    The nerves got to the American, who was the only player to shoot below par in each of the first three rounds, on the 18th, with an awful drive into the rough, yet he regained his composure and, after seeing McIlroy's error, ensured there was to be no more mistakes.

    Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay finished T3 on four under, with Matthieu Pavon rounding out the top five.

  • Leader DeChambeau aiming for 'something special' in final round of US Open Leader DeChambeau aiming for 'something special' in final round of US Open

    Bryson DeChambeau is targeting "something special" on the final day of action at the US Open after building a three-shot lead by the end of round three at Pinehurst.

    DeChambeau, who won his first and so far only major championship at the 2020 US Open, stands at seven under after overcoming a slow start to his third round.

    He struggled with a hip issue in the early stages but managed three birdies in a five-hole stretch, and six overall throughout the round, to pull clear of a chasing pack that includes Matthieu Pavon, Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy.

    DeChambeau would have held an even greater advantage if not for a double-bogey at the 16th, the ball rolling back to his feet at one stage as he saw his advantage halved from four shots to two.

    However, an immediate birdie on the par-three next ensured he finished three clear of his rivals, and he is relying on the home crowd to help him over the line on Sunday.

    "I gave it everything I had out there today," DeChambeau told Sky Sports. "The crowd's support has been fantastic. It's amazing. 

    "I can't thank them enough and I'll continue to feed off of them. Tomorrow it's about fairways and greens and let's see if I can give them something special."

    A one-under 69 ensured McIlroy crept up on Cantlay, who had been a joint-leader after round one, while Pavon matched the Northern Irishman to leave all three players at four under.  

    McIlroy ended the third round of the 2023 US Open – staged at Los Angeles Country Club – one shot back of Rickie Fowler and eventual champion Wyndham Clark.

    While Fowler drifted, both McIlroy and Clark shot par on the final round as the latter claimed the title, leaving McIlroy determined to go one better this time around. 

    "I'm pretty much in the same position that I was last year going into the final day at LACC," McIlroy said. 

    "It's a familiar position, I've been here many times before, and hopefully I produce the golf that's needed to go one better."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.