SCHNEIDER BREAKS INTO THE WORLD TOP 200
Marcel Schneider holed a 30-foot eagle putt on the 72nd hole to seal a one-stroke victory and his second title this season at the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos breaking into the Top 200 for the first time at World No. 190.
The German was left needing a birdie on the par five final hole to force a play-off with Frenchman Frederic Lacroix, who had set the clubhouse lead at 18 under par following a sublime seven under par round of 65, however Schneider's eagle meant he went one better, signing for a two under par round of 70 to climb to 19 under par and top the leaderboard at Royal Óbidos Spa and Golf Resort.
The 31-year-old showed real bravery to bounce back from a double bogey on the par five second hole to secure an enthralling victory and convert a 54-hole lead for the third time in his European Challenge Tour career.
“I’m still pumped. I’m still out of words, it means a lot, for sure,” he said. “When the ball dropped I just thought ‘come on, that’s it’. I waited for it the whole day.
“I made a huge mistake on the second hole and del Rey started birdie-birdie so that took the momentum off me. I told myself to hang in there, hit good shots onto the greens, stay patient on the greens but the putts just didn’t want to fall in. I had to stay patient until the last putt and I knew at the end that it was a super important one and I did it.”
Schneider had focussed his efforts on the European Tour earlier in the year after finishing in the top five on the Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2020, however a victory in the Kaskáda Golf Challenge in July changed his outlook on the season.
“My main focus at the start of the season was on the European Tour but I didn’t do that well,” he said.
“I missed three tournaments because I was not able to play so I went to Czech because I knew the place and I always played well there. I just wanted a one-week experience on the Challenge Tour but I won it, so the whole schedule changed again.
“With more opportunities on the Challenge Tour, I thought it was a better way to secure a European Tour card via the Challenge Tour and I’m lucky that it’s already done now.”
Japan Golf Tour - Panasonic Open
Keita Nakajima, the current No. 1 amateur in the world, closed with a 4-under 68 and made par on the first playoff hole to beat Ryutaro Nagano and win the Panasonic Open on the Japan Golf Tour.
Nakajima moves from World No. 379 to a career best of 208.
Abema TV Tour - ISPS HANDA Hero ni nare! Challenge Tournament
Ryo Hisatsune earned 4 Ranking points at the ISPS HANDA Hero ni nare! Challenge Tournament moving from World No. 455 to 390.
Big Easy Tour - Big Easy Road to #15 Riviera on Vaal
Ian Snyman turned out to be a wire-to-wire winner in the Big Easy Road to the Sunshine Tour #15 at Riviera on Vaal moving to World No. 498 from 603.
Snyman carded a closing level-par 72 to go with his first two rounds of five-under 67 each, and that gave him a one-stroke edge over Michael Kok, who closed with a four-under 68. Herman Loubser was third after his final-round 67 put him on eight-under for the tournament and two off the lead. Matthew Rushton and Michael-James Steyn rounded out the top five with totals of seven-under.
After he had played so well in the first two rounds, it was a bit of a shock to his system when Snyman made bogeys on one and four in the final round. “I saw some places on the golf course that I hadn’t seen before,” he laughed. “And in the first two rounds, if I missed any greens, I was never more than a couple of inches off. Today, I had to chip, and with some of the lies I got around the greens, that wasn’t easy.”
But for all that, Snyman stayed calm as Kok and Loubser, in particular, put the squeeze on him. But with no-one towards the top of the leaderboard able to keep at least one bogey off the card, Snyman was able to put together what turned out to be a winning run of consecutive birdies on six and seven, and, when he followed that with an eagle on eight, he was able to feel that he could win the thing.
“I hit a good drive down the middle of wight,” said Snyman, “and I hit a long eight-iron in to the green. I actually hit it about 15 metres longer than usual, probably because of adrenalin, and I had about 13 metres to the hole. I read the line of the putt perfectly, and it went in.”
All Thailand Golf Tour - Singha all Thailand Championship
Settee Prakongvech won the Singha All Thailand Championship by two shots after shooting a final round 67 on Sunday. He scored -10 over the four days on the par-72 Blue Canyon Country Club, Canyon course in Phuket.
The Chon Buri native, who was five strokes behind the leader after three rounds, rolled in five birdies in a bogey-free round in the final of the three-million-baht tournament, promoted under the Sandbox Swing project.
Settee received 450,000 baht for his second ATGT victory after his win at the Singha All Thailand Memorial 2019 and moved up to the top of the money list on 670,000 baht. He also earned five world ranking points.
Atiruj Winaicharoenchai closed with a 68 to share second on 8-under with Suteepat Prateeptienchai (69) and Sarun Sirithon (70). They each took home 191,000 baht.