Romain Wattel landed his first European Tour title after a dramatic finish at the KLM Open in Spijk.The Frenchman, who had recorded 25 top-ten finishes in his previous 186 events without tasting victory, was in control for much of the final round, but survived a late scare when he missed the green with his approach to the last.
That was one ahead of fast-finishing Canadian Austin Connelly, with Kiradech Aphibarnrat – Wattel’s main challenger for much of the day - finding water with his second to the 18th and dropping to 12 under with the subsequent double bogey.
Wattel’s victory was all the more remarkable as he had not finished higher than 24th previously last season and came into the week down at 130th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
“I came to this tournament, I was playing poorly to be honest,” he said. “Last week I struggled with my game.
“I am happy with the way I played all week. It’s been a very nice weekend.
“I’ve been putting really bad the last two years – I think I’m a really good putter but the last two years were tough for me.
“I never thought about the score, I just tried to play my best. I was just trying to be as high as I could on the leaderboard but it was very tight. I just tried to play my own game.
“I have been in contention before and while I had not won before I knew what I had to do; I knew what I had to expect and thankfully this time it was my week. It feels amazing to win for the first time – I am so happy right now.”