Otaegui gets a ticket to PGA Championship

Jon Rahm won't be the only Spaniard competing in the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville from May 16th to 19th

by Andrea Gussoni
Otaegui gets a ticket to PGA Championship
© Getty Images Sport - Lintao Zhang / Staff

Jon Rahm won't be the only Spaniard competing in the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville from May 16th to 19th. Adrián Otaegui, also from the Basque Country, secured his spot in the second major of the season with a brilliant victory at the Volvo China Open, a DP World Tour event that marked the fifth professional win for the San Sebastián native, all of them on the European circuit.

His triumph in Shenzhen saw him finish third in the DPWT's Asian swing, earning him the final exemption for the PGA Championship. At 31 years old, Otaegui, who prevailed by a stroke over Italian Guido Migliozzi, will be playing in the seventh major of his career, and this success puts the Spaniard on the brink of securing the second national spot for the Olympics, currently held by David Puig.

Adrián Otaegui, results

There were many incentives for 'El Pirata' in the final round in Shenzhen, where the tournament was reduced to 54 holes due to Saturday's adverse weather conditions. With less time to spare, Otaegui had to overcome a five-stroke deficit heading into his final round.

But with four birdies on the front nine, the Spaniard put himself in contention. He also benefitted from the struggles of the event's leader from the start, Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg, who carded a final round of 72, even par at the Chinese Hidden Grace Golf Club.

Adrián, particularly impressive with his putting, scored two consecutive birdies on the 16th and 17th to take the lead for the first time, just at the crucial moment. The pressure mounted by the Spanish golfer with a final round of 65, seven under par, proved too much for the rest of the competitors.

Soderberg tried until the final hole, but on the 18th, where he arrived tied with Otaegui, he sent his ball out of bounds and ended up with a double bogey. This left Italian Migliozzi in second place, with a -17 insufficient to catch up to Otaegui's -18.

Adrián celebrated by embracing his compatriot Pablo Larrazábal, giving Spain its first DP World Tour victory since the Catalan did so in May last year at the KLM Open. Since that date, Spanish golf had not added titles on either the PGA Tour or LIV Golf.

"I'm very, very happy, I'm extremely happy," expressed Adrián upon winning. "I had to wait a bit after I finished, see what happened in the final group, but fortunately for me things worked out well and I'm very happy.

I started five shots back and tried not to look at the leaderboard, not think about the result, try to play like I did on Thursday and Friday and think that if things go well, it's a course where I can have some birdie opportunities.

I've been hitting the ball well, I felt more and more confident throughout the week with the putter, and I knew that if I had birdie chances I could sink some. I actually felt calmer throughout the round," concluded the San Sebastián native as he added the fifth professional win of his career, the first since the Andalucía Masters 2022, to secure his ticket to the PGA Championship. Otaegui also temporarily sits at number 109 in the world rankings, on the verge of returning to the Top 100.

Pga Jon Rahm