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Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Wattel looks ahead to defending his KLM Open title

Romain Wattel hopes to make his first defence of a European Tour title a successful one at this week's KLM Open.

The Frenchman secured a dramatic victory at The Dutch 12 months ago, beating Austin Connelly by a single shot to win at the 187th time of asking after 25 top-ten finishes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 27 year old took some time to adjust to becoming a European Tour winner as it took him until July to register a first top-ten of the season at the Porsche European Open.

“I am feeling great and it is nice to be back," Wattel said. "It’s been a really quick 12 months and I feel it was like yesterday when it happened. I am really happy to be back here.

“It was a very big relief and it felt great to finally win. Everyone was asking me about my first win and to finally achieve that was a great moment for me. You only have one first win in your career and I am very happy that it came in Holland.

I am really looking forward to defending my title this week - ​Romain Wattel

“That third round of 64 was my best round of the tournament and I played really good on that Saturday. Everything went so well and although Sunday was a bit trickier, Saturday was a very memorable round.

“Last year there was not so much rough so you didn’t need to be on the fairway all of the time, but I think you really need to be good on the greens as they can be very tricky. The key to scoring well here is to be very good on the greens."

Wattel's triumph came after Kiradech Aphibarnrat had charged to the top of the leaderboard, only for the Thai to record two late double bogeys.

“Kiradech was playing really good golf last year – he just made two mistakes at the end," Wattel added. "He almost had his hands on the trophy on the back nine and it was very tight between me and him. I just managed to focus on my game though and played the best that I could.

“I am feeling a lot better and have been playing a lot better over the past two weeks – I’m feeling good. I am really looking forward to defending my title this week.” 

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WU, AshunCHN18-16
2WOOD, ChrisENG18-15
T3DETRY, ThomasBEL18-14
T3TANIHARA, HidetoJPN18-14
5HARRINGTON, PadraigIRL18-13
T6PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-12

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