Ag­gres­sive ap­proach helps Pa­van hold off a resur­gent Har­ring­ton

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT - PHIL CASEY

ITALY’S An­drea Pa­van cel­e­brated the im­mi­nent ar­rival of his sec­ond child by win­ning his first Euro­pean Tour ti­tle af­ter com­ing out on top in a fi­nal-round duel with three-time ma­jor win­ner Padraig Har­ring­ton.

Pa­van carded a clos­ing 67 in the D+D Real Czech Mas­ters to fin­ish two shots ahead of play­ing part­ner Har­ring­ton on 22 un­der par, with Malaysia’s Gavin Green three strokes fur­ther back in third.

Har­ring­ton looked on course for a 16th Euro­pean Tour win when he led by three shots at the turn and was still two clear with five to play but the 46-year-old bo­geyed the 15th while Pa­van reeled off three birdies in the space of four holes in a bril­liant back nine of 31 at Al­ba­tross Golf Re­sort.

“I can’t be­lieve it to be hon­est,” said Pa­van. “Com­ing down the back nine trail­ing Padraig since the be­gin­ning, he was play­ing re­ally well and not mak­ing any mis­takes and I just knew I needed to stay ag­gres­sive and it was amaz­ing to fin­ish this way.

“To birdie 16 and 17 was unreal. You know when you go against such a great player that you have to stay ag­gres­sive and that was my men­tal­ity to­day.

“This week ev­ery­thing seemed to work – my driv­ing has been a strug­gle for years and this year I found a new driver in Aus­tralia and it seemed to be work­ing much bet­ter. Even if this week it wasn’t key, the putting the first three days was un­be­liev­able.

“I’m go­ing back home to­mor­row and we’re hav­ing a sec­ond baby, a lit­tle girl is com­ing on Wed­nes­day. We’re re­ally ex­cited about that and I can’t wait to cel­e­brate with my fam­ily.”

Har­ring­ton and Pa­van shared a three-shot lead head­ing into the fi­nal round and Har­ring­ton birdied the first, sixth and ninth to move three in front be­fore Pa­van hit back with birdies on the 10th and 12th.

Seek­ing a first win since 2016 just days af­ter los­ing his PGA Tour card, Har­ring­ton al­most made a hole-in-one dur­ing his round.

“It was a good con­test, no doubt about it,” said Har­ring­ton. “I ob­vi­ously don’t feel like I lost it, An­drea won it for sure. He played great com­ing home.”

PADRAIG HAR­RING­TON: Missed out on a first win since 2016 when beaten by An­drea Pa­van.

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