Dutchman Joost Luiten survived a late wobble at The Celtic Manor Resort to win the ISPS Handa Wales Open by a stroke from Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and Ireland’s Shane Lowry, moving into the top 10 in The Race to Dubai in the process.
“It was tough, it was hard work down to the last,” said Luiten who led by two going into the final round but saw that lead wiped out with two bogeys on the bounce over the first two holes. He managed to regain his composure, picking up two strokes down the stretch to play out a final-round 71 for a 14-under-par total of 270.
“I didn’t have the start I really wanted with the two bogeys. I just tried to hang in there and wait for my chances and made some nice birdies and a par down the last was lucky enough.”
Luiten will be one of The European Tour’s top 60 players in the field at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai taking place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 November. The 28-year-old has played in the last four installments of the tournament and secured his best result in last year’s event when he finished in fourth place.
Fleetwood moved from 30th to 19th in The Race to Dubai and will join Luiten in the field at Jumeirah Golf Estates, as will joint runner-up Lowry, who moved from 17th place to 14th.
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts shared fourth place on 12-under-par 272 with England’s Eddie Pepperell, Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Scotland’s Marc Warren and Italy’s Edoardo Molinari.
Donaldson, currently third on The Race to Dubai, will make his Ryder Cup debut for Paul McGinley’s European team at Gleneagles this week and will be among the star names at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November.
The top 10 European Tour Race to Dubai Rankings as of 22 September following the ISPA Handa Wales Open:
1. Rory MCILROY €5,120,709
2. Sergio GARCIA €2,275,712
3. Jamie DONALDSON €1,856,696
4. Thomas BJORN €1,780,152
5. Henrik STENSON €1,691,231
6. Martin KAYMER €1,570,937
7. Justin ROSE €1,503,781
8. Victor DUBUISSON €1,477,224
9. Stephen GALLACHER €1,406,033
10. Joost Luiten €1,359,927