Wang holds his nerve to beat Jaco, Joakim

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

DOHA, Qatar: Je­unghun Wang won his third Euro­pean Tour ti­tle af­ter beat­ing Joakim Lager­gren and Jaco van Zyl in a play-off at the Com­mer­cial Bank Qatar Masters yesterday.

The South Korean be­gan the day with a three-shot lead but was caught on the back nine be­fore re­tak­ing top spot on his own with a birdie on the 16th.

A bo­gey on the next dropped him into the play-off at 16-un­der but af­ter tak­ing a brave line over the back of the green on the first visit back up the 18th, he got up and down for a win­ning birdie.

The win for Wang comes in just his 29th Euro­pean Tour event and at 21 years and 144 days old, he is the third youngest player to win three events af­ter Mat­teo Manassero and Seve Balles­teros.

It was heart­break for South African Van Zyl, who looked the favourite when he got on the green in two on the play-off hole but a sec­ond three-putt of the day cost him dear as he fin­ished run­ner-up on the Euro­pean Tour for the fifth time in his 150th event.

Ear­lier, Van Zyl carded a fi­nal round fou­run­der 68 to get into the play-off.

The 37-year-old, how­ever, did have the chance to win the event on the fi­nal hole. There he was just over the par five putting sur­face in two, but fluffed his chip leav­ing 22 feet for birdie and the win. Though he gave the putt a chance, it did not drop and he had to hole the putt com­ing back to make it into ex­tra holes.

Van Zyl had be­gun his day play­ing in the fi­nal group with three birdies in a row, be­fore he added a fourth on the fifth hole. But a bo­gey on the par five sixth halted his progress, and he would only man­age one more birdie com­ing home as his put­ter let him down.

Coun­try­man Thomas Aiken fin­ished on 15-un­der, one shot out­side the play-off for a share of fourth place.

Mean­while, 47-year-old Ernie Els showed glimpses of the form that has won him four Ma­jor ti­tles as he ended on 11-un­der in a tie for 13th.

Swede Lager­gren was also search­ing for his first win and he left him­self too much work to do when he pulled his sec­ond shot in the play­off into the green­side bunker.

Wang won the Sir Henry Cot­ton Rookie of the Year award last sea­son af­ter his vic­to­ries at the Trophée Has­san II and the AfrAsia Bank Mau­ri­tius Open and could now climb as high as 29th in the world golf rank­ing as he con­tin­ues his me­te­oric rise.

“This feels re­ally fan­tas­tic for me,” he said. “It’s re­ally, re­ally great. I’m so happy.” – eu­ro­pean­tour.com and ANA

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