Sunday, 17 April 2016
Joost Luiten  (Getty Images)
Joost Luiten (Getty Images)

Andrew Johnston and Joost Luiten shared the lead heading into the closing stages but they had a bunched chasing pack behind them on the final day of the Real Club Valderrama Open de España, Hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

Lower winds and some localised showers to soften the greens had made scoring a touch easier than it had been in rounds two and three but the leading score was still at one over par.

The last time a European Tour event was won with an over par score was the 2013 US Open at Merion but, with Luiten and Johnston both one under for their rounds at the turn, the lead looked like it could creep into red numbers by the end of play.

Martin Kaymer, Pablo Larrazábal and defending champion James Morrison were then at two over, a shot clear of a surging Sergio Garcia and Ross Fisher.

Johnston is seeking his first European Tour title while Luiten, who already has four top tens this term, is looking for his fifth.

There were big changes in the early stages as a birdie-birdie start from Larrazábal coupled with a bogey from overnight leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera meant there was a four-way tie for the lead after the final group had played the first.

Lorenzo-Vera made another bogey on the second, and he would turn in 39 to drop away from contention, while Larrazábal dropped a shot on the third to leave Luiten and Kaymer ahead.

The German then played a pinpoint tee-shot on the par three to make a birdie and when Luiten dropped a shot on the same hole, Kaymer led by two.

Luiten quickly recovered with back-to-back birdies from beyond 12 feet to move back into a share of the lead and when Larrazábal holed a bunker shot on the seventh, he was within one of the leaders.

A first dropped shot of the day on the seventh from Kaymer had Luiten ahead on his own but Johnston, who had bogeyed the first, had come to life with a brilliant approach to the same hole setting up a birdie which he followed with another on the next.

Morrison turned in 34 to leave him right in the mix to successfully defend his title but the big move of the day came from Garcia, who had birdies on the third, fourth, eighth and 12th to sit two back.

Fisher made the turn in level par to sit alongside Garcia, a shot ahead of Pep Angles, Søren Kjeldsen and Alex Noren.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1JOHNSTON, AndrewENG181
2LUITEN, JoostNED182
3GARCIA, SergioESP183
T4KJELDSEN, SørenDEN184
T4MORRISON, JamesENG184
T6NOREN, AlexSWE185

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