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Monday, 01 July 2019
CADIZ, SPAIN - JUNE 30:   Christian Bezuidenhout of South Africa poses with the trophy following his victory during day four of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation at Real Club Valderrama on June 30, 2019 in Cad  (Getty Images)
CADIZ, SPAIN - JUNE 30: Christian Bezuidenhout of South Africa poses with the trophy following his victory during day four of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation at Real Club Valderrama on June 30, 2019 in Cad (Getty Images)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout secured an emphatic six shot victory at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

The South African's success in Spain saw him earn his maiden European Tour title.

Here, we take a look at some of the highlights from the week at Real Club Valderrama.

Bezuidenhout's epic journey to the Open

For those who don't know the South African's backstory, Bezuidenhout's journey to the top is nothing short of remarkable. At the age of two he mistakenly drank rat poison, an incident that led to him developing a stammer that caused him to suffer anxiety. The beta blockers he took to combat the stammer led to him failing a doping test at the 2014 Amateur Championship - which was at Royal Portrush - and while his two year ban was reduced to nine months after officials adjudged he had not been seeking to gain a competitive advantage, he missed out on representing his country at the Eisenhower Trophy. Now he is a European Tour winner and will play in his first Major Championship at the Open Championship at the scene of his darkest moment in his career later this month.


Northern Ireland bound

Bezuidenhout was not the only man to secure a place at Royal Portrush. The South African will be heading to Northern Ireland alongside Spaniard Adri Arnaus and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera after the three men qualified for the season's final Major Championship. Arnaus was one over for his round after ten holes but made four birdies in five from the 12th in a 69 to secure his Open debut and second Major appearance. Lorenzo-Vera made an excellent par save on the last to stay at four under and he will be playing his second Open and second Major of the year after finishing in the top 20 at the US PGA Championship.

Home contingent fly Spanish flag


Bezuidenhout and Lorenzo-Vera were the only non Spaniards to finish in the top seven as the home golfers shone at Valderrama. Lorenzo-Vera was joined in a tie for second place with Arnaus, Eduardo De La Riva, Alvaro Quiros and Jon Rahm, while host Sergio Garcia was a shot behind the quintet. Garcia, the winner the last two years, made it 14 top tens in 15 appearances at Valderrama after a final round 70 in Sunday. And it was another hugely successful tournament run by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

Bjorn rolls back the years


Ryder Cup winning Captain Thomas Bjørn continued his fightback from an ankle injury with a top ten finish. The Dane thought he had missed the cut when three putts gave him a bogey-bogey finish and a two over par total after the second round. The tough conditions brought the field back to him, however, and on day three he produced a superb 67 that was matched only by World Number 11 Rahm. "I haven’t played like that for a long time," he said. "When you get into a round like this when you start making some birdies, you start recognising yourself in that environment, which is probably the hard thing in golf."

Waring grills his heroes


Liverpool fan Paul Waring may not have had a week to remember on the course, but he did get the opportunity to interview James Milner and Adam Lallana. The Reds duo, whose team won the Champions League earlier in the month, were grilled by the not so impartial interviewer at Real Club Valderrama. Waring missed the cut after struggling in the second round, but afterwards he wrote on Twitter: "Even after playing like that for 2 days, I still absolutely love this place. @RcValderrama is just amazing!"

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BEZUIDENHOUT, ChristiaanRSA18-10
T2QUIROS, AlvaroESP18-4
T2LORENZO-VERA, MikeFRA18-4
T2ARNAUS, AdriESP18-4
T2DE LA RIVA, EduardoESP18-4
T2RAHM, JonESP18-4

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