Tuesday, 01 January 2013
Joost Luiten  (Getty Images)
Joost Luiten (Getty Images)
Joost Luiten completed his second European Tour victory in style as the Dutchman took the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity by two shots.

Luiten shrugged off a shaky start and a one-hour weather delay to card a closing 71 at Diamond Country Club to finish 17 under par and win by two shots from Denmark's Thomas Björn, who birdied the 18th to claim outright second ahead of China's Liang Wen-chong and France's Romain Wattel.

The 27 year old Luiten began the day with a three shot lead but saw that instantly reduced to one when he three-putted the opening hole and playing partner Jorge Campillo made birdie.

A birdie on the second quickly repaired the damage, but Luiten's lead was back to one again when Wattel carded his fourth birdie of the day at the sixth.

Luiten, whose previous victory came in the Iskandar Johor Open in 2011, responded with a two-putt birdie on the par five seventh, and when Wattel failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker on the ninth, the gap was back to three shots once more.

The World Number 137 – who will climb into the top 100 on Monday - looked like having more breathing space when Wattel three-putted the 12th, only to make exactly the same mistake on the 11th, and with Liang making a birdie on the 15th and Björn picking up shots on the tenth and 12th, they were now just two shots back.

Play was suspended due to the threat of lightning in the area with Luiten on the 14th tee, but he showed no ill effects when it resumed an hour later and struck the decisive blow on the 16th, where his approach almost span back into the hole and set up an easy birdie.

"It's been a great week so I am really, really happy," Luiten said. "It was a long day, I started off with a bogey but I hit the ball nicely so I just wanted to focus on that, hit the greens, two-putt and make the others chase me.

"Unfortunately I made a few mistakes on the greens and didn't make a lot of putts, but in the end I was three clear after my birdie on 16 and that gave me a little bit of air. It's always nice to finish par, par and hold the trophy."

Speaking about the weather delay, Luiten added: "At that time I wanted to play on but it was good to have a break for me because I wasn't playing really well so I just had some food and tried to focus again and went out there and tried to make pars and sneak in a birdie and that's what I did."

Björn was left to rue some minor misfortunes, but congratulated the victor and tipped Luiten for further honours.

“I played very well at the weekend but I just didn’t do enough today,” he said. “I bogeyed the sixth and that made it a tough challenge, but I played well down the stretch and tried to put some pressure on.

“I was unfortunate on the 17th with the bounce. I never really applied enough pressure. But I came here to win or to at least get a top ten and I’ve done that and I’m pretty happy.

“I hit a lot of good shots. I was a little too aggressive with the putt on the 16th. They didn’t quite drop today, but I putted really well all week and that’s the biggest thing I’ve been struggling with for a long time. It’s been nice to putt well two weeks in a row.

“Joost has been knocking on the door for a long, long time and he’s a great player so I have to take my hat off to him. He played some wonderful golf this week and deserves it as much as anyone else on Tour.

“I played with him last week on Sunday and he’s got everything to make him a world-class player. He’s carried himself well when he’s come close to winning but not done it, so hats off to him, he deserves it.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LUNDBERG, MikaelSWE18-12
3LUITEN, JoostNED18-11
T5JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-8
T5ZANOTTI, FabrizioPAR18-8

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