Daniel Gavins, what a scare at the last hole



by ANDREA GUSSONI

Daniel Gavins, what a scare at the last hole

Making all possible mistakes on the last hole and still finishing with a smile, a long shiver that made the victory even more beautiful and unforgettable. The second edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship went to Daniel Gavins who, in the United Arab Emirates and with a total of 271 (68 66 68 69, -17) strokes, celebrated his second career title on the DP World Tour, arriving at the 98th tournament on the tour.

The last, and only, success dates back to August 2021. Third at the end of the "moving day", in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and on the Al Hamra GC course (par 72), the Englishman closed the fourth round with a partial of 69 (-3) making eight birdies (of which five consecutive), with three bogeys and a double bogey at 18 where in the first three rounds he had always managed to score a birdie.

Right on 18 Gavins risked throwing everything away: ball in the water with the first shot, with the third he went into the fairway, with the fourth still in the water, with the sixth on the green about nine meters from the hole: at that point the English had to pot because another mistake would have led to the playoffs.

The ball gently entered for one of the happiest double bogeys in the history of golf: the emotional embrace with his girlfriend Sarah-Louise immediately after the end of the tournament.

Daniel Gavins, results

Alexander Bjork did not take advantage of Gavins' mistakes, who scored a bogey in the final and finished 2nd with 272 (-16) on a par with Zander Lombard, leader after 54 holes.

"I just want to thank my family who have always supported me, since the beginning of my career", Gavins tears of joy. The victory pushes the Englishman up to seventh place in the Race to Dubai and makes him climb about 130 steps in the world rankings, from 296th place to 169th.

The feat earned the 31-year-old from Leeds $340,000, out of a total prize pool of $2,000,000, who succeeds the Danish Nicolai Hojgaard in the roll of honour, winner in 2022. It is the 365th English success on the European Tour.

In Ras Al Khaimah, the third Desert Swing tournament after the stops in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, some regrets for Edoardo Molinari who didn't go beyond 42nd place with 283 (66 72 73 72, -5). Second at the end of the opening round, the vice-captain of the Europe team at the Ryder Cup in Rome - scheduled from 29 September to 1 October - fell short. Off to the cut Guido Migliozzi.