Dane Hansen wins Dubai Championship, 2nd European Tour win | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Dane Hansen wins Dubai Championship, 2nd European Tour win

DUBAI (AP) — Danish player Joachim B. Hansen hit a 4-under 68 to hold off co-overnight leader Francesco Laporta and a soaring Bernd Wiesberger by one stroke to win the Dubai Championship on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Hansen had four birdies to finish at 23 under overall having opened with a 9-under 63 in the first round.

“The first two rounds were some of the best of my life. Yesterday wasn’t great, and I have really struggled to find the middle of the club on my woods," Hansen said. “But my putter helped today, I putted a lot better than yesterday. That kept me in the game.”

Despite his appearance, he was getting very nervous near the end.

“I’ve heard that before about me looking calm, but no way. I said to my caddie Adam ‘I’m struggling here mate, we need to talk about something else’ because I was thinking too far ahead and that was hard," Hansen said. “I’m very proud of myself to get it done because I wasn’t playing great out there. But I managed to keep the ball in play and give myself some good chances."

Hansen and the Italian Laporta are both outside the top 150 in the world and this was only the 170th-ranked Hansen's second European Tour win. The other was at the Joburg Open in November 2020.

“It means a lot, especially with family and friends here this time. There was no one there in Joburg," Hansen said. "When I saw Jeff Winther win in Mallorca, I was very jealous because he had the family and friends celebrating with him and I really wanted all of that, so I’m really glad I get to experience that.”

On the final hole, Laporta pushed his second shot right of the green into some thick grass. He chipped out and a long birdie putt missed by inches to the right to finish with a 3-under 69. Hansen chipped on and two-putted for par and the win.

Laporta looked on the bright side.

“I was feeling so good on 18. I was telling myself ‘You can do this’, and I knew I needed a birdie for a playoff. But then I shanked my three-wood. There was a lot of pressure on that shot and I felt it," Laporta said. “I played really good, made only two mistakes in four rounds so I’m pretty happy about my game.”

Weisberger's excellent 7-under 65 was even more impressive considering that the Austrian recovered from a bogey on No. 2 to make eight birdies, including four in the last five holes as he shot five places up the leaderboard.

Defending champion Antoine Rozner of France led after the second round and was one shot behind the leaders overnight, but finished in a four-way tie for fourth with Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond, England's Andy Sullivan and Australian Min Woo Lee.

Australian Min Woo Lee.

Sullivan's 65 featured two bogeys, seven birdies and an eagle on the 18th hole.

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland rose up two places to tie for eighth, but five-time European Tour winner Tommy Fleetwood of England fell back eight places and finished in a tie for 13th.

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News from © The Associated Press, 2021
The Associated Press

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