Davies triumph was a ‘bit of a blur’
Welsh young gun Rhys Davies captured his first European Tour title with a brilliant display in Morocco on Sunday.
Pencil slim Welshman Rhys Davies captured his first European Tour title with a brilliant final-round display in Morocco on Sunday.
The 24-year-old former Walker Cup amateur – he was a team-mate of Rory McIlroy’s in 2007 – lifted the Hassan Trophy by two shots after a closing seven under par 66 at Royal Dar Es Salam.
Davies trailed South African Louis Oosthuizen by three with 15 holes to play, but birdied eight of the next 11 and took the £207,666 first prize with a 25 under total of 266.
For Oosthuizen, who was unable to whisk up the magic of his third round which he led after a superb 64, posted a closing 70 to claim his fourth runners-up finish on the European circuit, while Frenchman Thomas Levet, Spaniard Ignacio Garrido, Finn Mikko Ilonen and another South African, Thomas Aiken, shared third place, five strokes further back.
Davies, whose magnificent putting was perhaps key to his victory, was a little stunned by his European Tour breakthrough.
In his first full season on the circuit after twice failing to come through the qualifying school, Davies could not quite believe it after he finished a superb 25-under par at Royal Des Es Salam.
“I’m a little bit lost at the moment – this is all completely surreal to me,” said the former British boy champion and American college star.
“I didn’t really think very much out there. It was all a bit of a blur.”
Told about his eight birdies from the fourth to the 14th the Bridgend golfer admitted: “I didn’t know I did that.
“I just felt I could make every putt and felt in control of my swing. That was the best I’ve hit it all week.”
Davies closed with a seven under par 66 to overtake 54-hole leader Louis Oosthuizen, the South African being forced to settle for his fourth runners-up finish on the European Tour.
Wales, of course, are staging the Ryder Cup for the first time in October.
Davies, third and first on his last two starts, has become his country’s only player in the world’s top 100, but is not thinking about Celtic Manor just yet.
“That’s way out of my equation at the moment,” he added.
“This is the first win, hopefully the first of a few, and it’s really special.”
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