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Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Victor Perez (Richard Castka/ sportpixgolf.com)  (European Tour)
Victor Perez (Richard Castka/ sportpixgolf.com) (European Tour)

It can be a life-changing week for anyone who brings their A-game to the Foshan Open, just ask Robert MacIntyre or Victor Perez.

Both players were outside the top 15 heading into the penultimate event of the 2018 season but after three good days, were both in with a shout of winning the big money event.

Several players jostled for the lead throughout the final day but it was Perez and MacIntyre who were tied after 72 holes, with the Frenchman posting a three under 69 and the Scot a seven under 65 to finish on 19 under par in total.

MacIntyre had set the clubhouse lead following a tremendous 80-foot eagle putt on the 18th to leapfrog Sean Crocker, who had set the target at 18 under par.

As the Scot waited nervously to find out if he had done enough to win in China, Perez drained a monster putt of his own from 40 feet on the 18th green to join MacIntyre on 19 under.

They returned to the 18th hole for a play-off and it was Perez who emerged triumphant, holing a birdie after the Scot could only card a par.

“I heard the reaction to Robert MacIntyre’s putt,” Perez said after winning. “We were on the 17th fairway and we heard the biggest roar. I turned to Peter and went ‘oh no, somebody did it’.

“I was expecting something because I knew Jack Singh Brar was making a run and Max Orrin was right there making a run, Sean Crocker was making a run and it could’ve been anybody’s tournament.

“One shot could have dropped you four or five places, it was really nerve-wracking coming down the stretch.

“I got a bit of grace on 18 with that huge putt, it’s a one in a million type of putt. I haven’t dropped one all week and then I drop one and it happens to be there on 18.

“A play-off is a play-off, it can go either way and I was fortunate to come out on top.”

Perez leapt from 16th to second on the Order of Merit with his win in Foshan, while MacIntyre also broke into the top 15, taking 13th place, moving up from 34th at the beginning of the week, and both men are now plying their trade on the European Tour after securing graduation.

 

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