Sunday, 15 September 2013
Daan Huizing (Pavel Zmey)  (EuropeanTour)
Daan Huizing (Pavel Zmey) (EuropeanTour)
Daan Huizing confirmed his status as one of the hottest up and coming prospects in world golf after the young Dutchman claimed his second victory in as many appearances, beating Korea’s Sihwan Kim by a two shot margin at the inaugural Kharkov Superior Cup.

The 22 year old’s clinical five under par final round of 67 helped complete a marvellous double for The Netherlands after Joost Luiten’s play-off victory over Miguel Angel Jiménez on home soil at the KLM Open.

Back in Ukraine, Huizing belied his years with nerves of steel when faced with one of the toughest home stretches of the season on the European Challenge Tour, carding three birdies in five extremely difficult closing holes.

His second win, coming two weeks after a play-off victory over former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson in the Northern Ireland Open Challenge Presented By Clannah and XJET, came courtesy of an almighty change in fortunes on the back nine as Huizing was four shots back from his playing partner standing on 13th tee. 

There was a seismic shift in momentum thereafter, with Kim carding a double-bogey at the tough par five before they both birdied the 14th to leave a margin of two shots.

A bogey for the Korean at the par five 15th slimmed his lead to just one before the big turning point at the 16th, where a birdie for Huizing and a bogey for Kim resulted in a two shot swing and launched the former World Amateur Number Three to the summit.

From there on in it was a textbook show of composure and a birdie at the 17th earned him a two-shot lead going down the final hole. Huizing then displayed the audacity and skill of a true champion by attacking the pin at the final hole, which was tucked in the front left edge of the green, next to the lake.

His approach pitched ten feet past the hole, a matter of feet from the hazard - to the delight of the watching crowds - and he two-putted for a victory which moves him to third in the Challenge Tour Rankings and virtually guarantees his place on The European Tour in 2014.

“It’s just fantastic to win,” said Huizing, who last year won the St Andrews Links Trophy and Lytham Trophy by 11 shots and 14 shots respectively in the non-paid ranks. “It was a fantastic week, the atmosphere, the location, everything about it was amazing.

“The first few days I was almost too relaxed here and I didn’t feel like I was in contention to win. But the last two days I was really sharp and got closer and closer to the lead. On those last few holes I just got the focus going and managed to win.

“All week I was just really relaxed and patient and not worrying about the scoring or the leaderboard and even on the back nine today I just kept patient and played my own game.

“My birdie at the 16th was a huge moment. I got closer on 13 and 15 when Sihwan dropped shots but my birdie there and Sihwan’s bogey was just huge.”

Huizing’s record on the Challenge Tour is now almost identical to that of former World Number One Martin Kaymer, who has become one of the most successful graduates in the history of the tour.

To this point, Huizing has played the same amount of tournaments as Kaymer did – eight - both winning twice, with four more top fives each while Kaymer claimed two more top 15s to boot and Huizing has claimed two top 20s.

Huizing’s scoring average so far this year is also something to behold. In 42 rounds, he has averaged 68.32 shots. That record is better than American Brooks Koepka, who won three events in just nine Challenge Tour appearances this years.

“I have only just got started as a professional and you dream of playing the Majors – tournaments like the Masters and The Open Championship - as well as Ryder Cups,” he said

“There is still a long way to go to get there but this really helps, of course. I am heading in the right direction and it’s really nice to be assured of a European Tour card next season. I cannot wait.”

Kim, who signed for a two under par final round of 70, was left with some consolation as his runner up finish elevated him to fifth in the Challenge Tour Rankings.

Englishman Daniel Brooks also made a significant gain in the Rankings as his four under par final round 68 earned a third place finish on 12 under par and moved him from 81st to 45th. That leaves him in a strong position to battle for a place in the season-ending Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club.


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HUIZING, DaanNED18-15
2KIM, SihwanKOR18-13
3BROOKS, DanielENG18-12
4PAVAN, AndreaITA18-11
T5ELVIRA, NachoESP18-10
T5OTAEGUI, AdrianESP18-10
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