Arnaus triumphant on home soil after play-off victory at Catalunya Championship

By Sports Desk May 01, 2022

Adri Arnaus got the better of Oliver Bekker to seal his first DP World Tour title on home soil at the Catalunya Championship via a gripping six-hole play-off.

Arnaus barely looked in contention at the start of the day when he began seven shots off the lead, but his excellent round of 65 coincided with Bekker and Laurie Canter carding their worst scores of the tournament.

The eventual winner reached the turn in 34, a decent score but one that did not necessarily suggest he was going to surge up the leaderboard.

Then, he recorded an eagle at the 12th en route to reaching 11 under for the tournament, putting him out in front as Bekker finished his round.

Bekker needed three putts at the 16th as he fell level with Arnaus, with his 72 ultimately ushering in the latter's third play-off on the DP World Tour in just the past seven months.

Both racked up five successive pars as they showed nerves of steel on the 18th hole, but Bekker then failed to hit the green as the play-off made its way to the 17th, and Arnaus punished him.

The Spaniard's approach landed within six feet of the pin, and he made no fuss of sealing the title from there, later reflecting on previous play-off disappointment in Madrid last October.

"I just tried to be so much in the present today and in the play-off, and it's been a long play-off," he said.

"Congratulations of course to Oliver, it's been an amazing week for him as well, but to come through this week is so special.

"I love the fans so much, they came to support and from Monday to Sunday it's been an amazing week.

"In the Open de Espana we were close, in a play-off as well, and this time again in a play-off and we made it, so I'm super happy."

The victory could be enough to take Arnaus into the top 50 of the world rankings for the first time.

Canter ultimately finished in a tie for third with Richard McEvoy and Adrian Meronk on nine under for the championship.

Related items

  • Meronk seals historic first for Poland at Irish Open as Jerzy Dudek sends congratulations Meronk seals historic first for Poland at Irish Open as Jerzy Dudek sends congratulations

    Adrian Meronk became Poland's first winner on the European/DP World Tour after he emerged victorious at the Irish Open on Sunday.

    Meronk ultimately ended the tournament at the Mount Juliet Estate with a healthy three-shot cushion on 20 under, but that does not tell the whole story.

    Although he started the final day with a one-shot lead, he was one off the top of the leaderboard heading into his final five holes.

    Ryan Fox carded a wonderful eight-under 64 to put himself in the driving seat, reaching the clubhouse on 17 under for the tournament.

    But Meronk came on strong in the latter stages, with unlikely birdie putts coming off on the 15th and 16th to put him back at the summit, and an even more surprising eagle on the penultimate hole sealed it.

    "It's such a relief to be honest," Meronk said. "I've been coming quite close a couple of times this year, and to finally open the door, it's just a dream come true. That's why we practise every day – such a relief and so happy.

    "I'm going to keep going forward. It's another step for me. And I'm excited I achieved it here in Ireland, such a great history, and I'm just super excited. I can't describe it.

    "It was an unbelievable feeling and to hit such a good shot on the last hole, I'm super proud of myself and my caddie, and yes, super happy."

    Meronk's success also captured the attention of another famous Polish sportsman.

    Former Poland and Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek sent Meronk a personal video message saluting his historic triumph.

    "Adrian, congratulations," Dudek began.

    "You were waiting for that moment so many years. That's a first Pole on the podium in this beautiful sport.

    "You are a legend of this game. We're very proud of you. Enjoy every single moment. All the best, come on!"

  • Jamaica junior golf team arrives home returns from history-making exploits at Caribbean Junior Golf Championships Jamaica junior golf team arrives home returns from history-making exploits at Caribbean Junior Golf Championships

    Several members of Jamaica’s history-making team to the 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship in Puerto Rico returned to the island with their trophies on Friday night.

  • Paul Casey to join LIV Golf Paul Casey to join LIV Golf

    England’s Paul Casey, ranked 26th in the world, has become the latest player to join the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Invitational.

    Casey has won 21 times as a professional, including three times on the PGA Tour and another 15 on the European Tour. He also represented Team Europe five times in the Ryder Cup.

    A back injury has kept Casey sidelined since he took part in the WGC Match Play Championship in March. He played two holes of his opening match when he conceded due to back spasms, before withdrawing from the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

    He plans to make his LIV debut later this month at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

    Casey joins a growing list of players to accept PGA Tour bans and join the breakaway series, fronted by CEO Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

    Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson are some of the marquee names that have come on board with the promise of big signing bonuses, hefty prize purses and an eased schedule.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.