Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Rookie Davies wins first tour title


British rookie Rhys Davies captured his maiden European Tour title by winning the Hassan 11 Trophy on Sunday.

Welshman Davies, 24, carded a final round seven-under-par 66 to win by two strokes with a 25-under-par total, two ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen who finished with a three-under-par 70.

Davies, who tied for third at the Malaysian Open earlier this month, joined the main Tour at the start of the season in December in South Africa.

“At this moment everything is all a big surreal,” Davies said. “I really did not think much at all out there and it was all much of a blur. I just kept focussing on hitting the ball as close to the flag as I could, and holing every putt I looked at.”

Davies began the final round two strokes behind Oosthuizen but drew level when he collected the fifth birdie of his round at the par five, 10th hole.

He went one stroke clear of his South African rival when he birdied the 11th hole before Oosthuizen got back to one in front with a 12th hole eagle.

Davies answered the challenge with a 13th hole birdie before there was a two-shot turnaround in the Welshman’s favour when he also birdied 14 and Oosthuizen dropped a shot.

Davies then pared his remaining four holes while Oosthuizen bogeyed 17 and then birdied the last for his fourth second place finish on the European Tour.

“I just felt like I could make every putt out there and that was the key to my round today,” Davies said.

“I had really good speed on the greens and when you have that you can pick your lines and that’s why I felt I could hole a lot of putts,” he said.

“I struggled with my irons all day,” admitted Oosthuizen. “It just wasn’t happening for me at all with the irons.

“I didn’t put the ball close enough to the pin in order to give myself chances,” he said.

Frenchman Thomas Levet (71), Spain’s Ignacio Garrido (70), South African Thomas Aiken (71) and Finland’s Mikko Ilonen (66) shared third place on 18 under par.

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