Otto pulls off Italian job

European Tour

Hennie Otto surged to a two stroke win in the Italian Open on Sunday.

The South African carded a solid four under 68 final round at the Circolo Golf Torino course, which was enough to leave him on 20 under for the tournament and secure him his third European tour win.

“The last three days have been superb,” the 39-year-old told Sky Sports.

“I came in and struggled a bit on day one, then hit a terrible drive off the first on day two. You wonder then if you’re going to make the cut. Lo and behold, with the way the game is, I’ve played beautifully since then.”

Starting the day in the lead, Otto played safe golf. He finished bogey-less and with four birdies on his way to victory.

England’s David Howell surged up the leaderboard with a scintillating final round 63 that included an eagle and seven birdies. He would finish on his own in second place, one stroke ahead of Stephen Gallacher.

While he carded a superb seven under 65 to finish alone in third, he needed a runner-up finish to secure his place in the European Ryder Cup team. However, he could still be one of Captain Paul McGinley’s wildcard picks.

“It was a tall order but I am proud of myself the way I have played,” said the Scot

“I’m delighted with 17 under, it looks just a little short but there is nothing I can do. When it comes down to someone else’s opinion…I wanted to qualify myself just to take that away. There are four or five guys that are worthy (of a wild card) so it’s just what Paul sees.”

Meanwhile, fellow Brit Howell supports this notion.

“I really hope Stephen gets a pick because he would make a fantastic Ryder Cup player,” said the Englishman.

“It was a supreme effort and if a captain needs an example of a player in form who can play under pressure he has had it this weekend.”

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