European Tour

SA's Harding wins Qatar Masters

2019-03-10 17:16
Justin Harding
Justin Harding (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Justin Harding won his maiden title on the European Tour after carding a final round 66 at the Qatar Masters on Sunday.

The South African made three early birdies to claim a share of the lead at the Doha Golf Club, but dropped down the field after two bogies.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Jinho Choi posted a 64 to claim the clubhouse lead at 11-under-par.

Making his 54th start on the European Tour, Harding brought himself back in contention with a pair of birdies after the turn and then moved into a two-shot lead with birdies on three of his last four holes.

The clubhouse leader at 13-under, Harding had a nervous wait for the chasing pack to finish, with nine players tied for second at one point.

"It feels good. It was nerve wracking, especially coming off, it's a situation I haven't really been in. I didn't enjoy it but it's good fun, I'm glad it happened and now we move on," he told the media after his round.

"I get into the events that I'd like to be into again, the schedules change, I'm no longer having to pick and choose. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens going forward and playing in some bigger events."

Choi started the day seven shots off the lead, but a 31 over the first time saw him surge through the field, with birdies on the 12th and 18th securing him a tie for second.

Anton Karlsson (69) claimed a share of the lead after birdies on one, seven and 10, while Nacho Elvira (70) also birdied the 10th to claim a share of the lead.

Karlsson then dropped shots on 13 and 14, and although he recovered with birdies on 16 and 18, it wasn't enough to match Harding's late charge. Elviro also birdied the final hole but a bogey on the 17th brought an end to the Spaniard's chanes.

George Coetzee (68) eagled the final hole to join the chasing pack on 11-under, while Christiaan Bezuidenhout (68), Jorge Campillo (68), Mike Lorenzo-Vera (70), Erik van Rooyen (70) and overnight leader Oliver Wilson (71) completed the nine-way tie for second.

One shot further behind was Thomas Detry (70), Andy Sullivan (68) and Fabrizio Zanotti (68).

Leading final round scores and totals in the Qatar Masters in Doha on Sunday  (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 72):

275 - Justin Harding (RSA) 68 68 73 66 

277 - Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 68 68 71 70, Anton Karlsson (SWE) 72 66 70 69, Oliver Wilson 69 68 69 71, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 72 69 68 68, George Coetzee (RSA) 68 68 73 68, Jin-ho Choi (KOR) 72 69 72 64, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) 72 71 66 68, Erik Van Rooyen (RSA) 69 68 70 70, Nacho Elvira (ESP) 71 67 69 70 

278 - Andy Sullivan 70 71 69 68, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 72 68 70 68, Thomas Detry (BEL) 70 68 70 70 

279 - Adri Arnaus (ESP) 67 70 72 70, Maximilian Kieffer (GER) 69 71 72 67, Jeff Winther (DEN) 70 70 72 67, Nick Cullen (AUS) 69 70 68 72


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