Fleetwood pulls up a shot short after late surge

LANCASTRIAN Tommy Fleetwood had to settle for joint second place with Ireland’s Shane Lowry as Dutchman Joost Luiten survived a nervy last hole to claim his fourth European Tour victory and first of the season at the ISPS Handa Wales Open presented by The Celtic Manor Resort.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD

TOMMY FLEETWOOD

The 28 year old had a one-shot lead heading down the par five 18th hole, but sprayed his drive way right and, after hacking out of thick rough back onto the fairway, left his approach 60 feet from the flag. A sublime first putt, however, gave him a tap-in for a level par 71, a 14 under par total and the €375,780 first prize.

Fleetwood, from Formby Hall, made a brilliant late charge, making four birdies and an eagle in the last five holes one stroke back alongside Lowry, who also birdied the last for a one under par 70.

Five players shared fourth place on 12 under, including home favourite Jamie Donaldson, who will make his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles next week, and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.
Fleetwood said: “I wanted to get back to level par or under par for the day after the double bogey at 13. I knew I had been finishing strongly, so I knew I’d have some chances.  I wanted to get back to nine or ten under.  I thought that would have been a good effort. I wasn’t thinking about 13 under, that’s for sure. I love it being in contention.

“After a poor summer, it was important to finish the season well. I’ve been playing well recently and the more you get up there, the better. This is how you learn. You can’t practise this on the range when you’re coming down the stretch in the top five, and the more you do it, the better it is.”

Meanwhile, Macclesfield’s Jamie Donaldson was  two shots off the lead as he warmed up for this week’s Ryder Cup showdown at Gleneagles.

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