Richard McEvoy completed a historic double in Hamburg earlier today when he claimed victory with a dramatic birdie four at the final hole of the Porsche European Open. Richie's first European Tour win came just 7 days after he lifted the Le Vaudreuil Challenge trophy last Sunday on the Challenge Tour! Quite a week for the Englishman who is one of the most popular on tour.
The golf course dried out remarkably from heavy rain on Saturday. With tricky pins, fast running fairways and a stiff breeze it was a tough final day for all the competitors on the Green Eagle Golf Club.
With several world stars featuring on a tightly bunched leaderboard, "Maccas" used all of his experience, stayed patient and kept his nerve to dispose of his playing partner, American Bryson Dechambeau, Masters Champion - Patrick Reed and countryman Paul Casey.
McEvoy moved into contention with a superb second round 65 (-7) and followed it up on moving day with a 3-under par 69. He and Dechambeau started the final day leading the way on -12. The early exchanges immediately showed how hard the course was playing and it was clear it was a day to grind out a score. No one better than Rich to do just that.
Following three pars to start he eased past the crazy difficult 4th unscathed unlike all of his nearest challengers and opened up a two shot lead. Looking back, Rich may well turn to the tricky 6th hole where he made a great up and down for bogey having found a watery grave with his second. A tap in birdie at the next was followed by bogey and a par to go out in one over par but crucially he still had a share of the lead.
A brilliant birdie four on the 11th was followed by two bogeys and with it the lead. He drew level once again with a smart birdie on the 15th and at this stage any one of six players was in with a shout of collecting the prestigious European Open trophy. Dechambeau made a complete mess of 15 and 16 and handed Rich a one shot lead with two to play. Having played through the green on 17, our man hit a near perfect chip which hung agonisingly on top of a steep slope. One more roll and it would've nestled by the hole side. Bogey and all of a sudden there was a 5-man tie on 10-under.
It all came down to 18. McEvoy needed a birdie to win. Dechambeau an eagle. The American's chances ended with a wild hook off the tee... over to Rich. A good tee shot went through the fairway into a fluffy lie in the semi-rough. He was faced with a tough decision - go for the green or lay up and trust his impeccable wedge play. Over ruling his caddie Wayne he backed himself to get up and down from 100 yards. Safely aboard the green with an up hill 20-footer, he calmly hit the best putt of his career. Bang... right in the middle and with victory, a cheque for €333,330, a huge leap up the Race to Dubai Rankings and a precious exemption on the European Tour.
An emotional and overjoyed McEvoy said "I'm a little bit lost for words. I just kept believing and staying in the moment. Last week's win in France gave me a huge lift and boosted my confidence and thankfully I continued the good form this week. It hasn't really sunk in yet but feels awesome!"
Big Congratulations Rich from Team MASHIE
Words by Jenahura