Bezuidenhout dominates at Valderrama to secure first title

Bezuidenhout dominates at Valderrama to secure first title
  • The South African finished on 10 under par, six ahead of second-placed Adri Arnaus

  • Sergio García's defence didn't go to plan, finishing in seventh place

It was a result very few expected. South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout announced himself on the international scene by claiming a resounding victory in the Andalucía Masters at Valderrama on Sunday.

The big favourite, and three-time winner, Sergio García had to settle for seventh place, one off compatriot and frontrunner Jon Rahm. Both failed to match the pace set by the South African who took a five-shot lead into the final round.

Bezuidenhout, 25, birdied the first two holes to go seven clear before bogeying four of the next five to see his lead cut to three by playing partner Rahm.

However, three birdies from the ninth put him back in control and he went on to claim his first European Tour title.

Rahm, meanwhile, finished in a tie for second. The 24-year-old finished level with compatriots Adri Arnaus, Eduardo de la Riva and Álvaro Quirós and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera.

Reigning champion Sergio García finished a shot further back, bringing an end to his run of three successive victories on the Cadiz course.

Qualification for the Open

Victory meant not only a 300,000-euro share of the prize money, but Bezuidenhout also secured a place in The Open Championship at Royal Portrush (Nothern Ireland) as a result.

His success will also boost his chances in the Race to Dubai and improve his placing in the world rankings.