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Callum Shinkwin storms to victory at Celtic Manor

Callum Shinkwin storms to victory at Celtic Manor

Callum Shinkwin strolled to a stunning four-shot victory at the 2022 Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale to claim his second DP World Tour title in style.


The 29-year-old carded six birdies and five bogeys on Sunday to reach 12 under par for the tournament and continue his love affair with The Celtic Manor Resort, where he has finished first, fourth and joint-eighth in his last three visits.

The home fans may have expected to see a match play contest develop between overnight leader Shinkwin and Julien Guerrier, who were separated by one shot at the start of the day.

But after a tense opening in which Guerrier fell two behind at the first before a two-shot swing on the second hauled him level, Shinkwin ran away from his rival, finding himself six clear after six holes.

With the pair posting different numbers at each of the first 11 holes, there were minor twists and turns as the round progressed but Shinkwin never relinquished his lead, despite a late charge from Scot Connor Syme piling on the pressure. 

Shinkwin signed for a closing 70 to comfortably add a second title to the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open crown he won in 2020.

Syme finished alone in second on eight under thanks to a 68 which contained an eagle, three birdies and two bogeys, while Guerrier was in the large group in a tie for third on five under.

Shinkwin began the day one shot ahead of playing partner Guerrier and saw his advantage increase to two strokes early on after the Frenchman opened his round with a bogey, while Shinkwin made par.

A two-shot swing at the second pulled Guerrier alongside Shinkwin at the summit on ten under as he holed his 15-foot birdie putt and the Englishman surrendered a bogey.

But as Guerrier bogeyed each of the next three holes, Shinkwin reeled off a hat-trick of gains at the fourth, fifth and sixth to open up a commanding six-shot lead.

The first of those birdies came courtesy of a 17-foot putt on the fourth green, while he holed from around seven feet at the next.

Shinkwin then skipped his approach at the sixth to six feet before confidently knocking in the putt to move to 13 under.

Back-to-back bogeys followed for Shinkwin at the seventh and eighth, but Guerrier was unable to capitalise as he parred the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth.

Shinkwin bounced back from his two successive dropped shots with a 12-foot birdie on the ninth to head to the turn with a five-shot lead.

He found the bunker at the short tenth but managed to save par to avoid a two-shot swing, as Guerrier converted his 12-foot birdie putt there to close the gap to four.

Shinkwin returned to 13 under thanks to a birdie at the par-five 11th, which came after he had sent his enormous eagle putt to five feet.

And with Guerrier only managing a par at the same hole, Shinkwin stretched his lead to five shots once more.

Shinkwin saved par from six feet at the 12th but bogeyed the next to move back to 12 under, and when Guerrier found water on the 13th to drop two shots, Shinkwin's nearest challenger became Paul Waring, who was five strokes back.

A bogey for Waring at the 15th meant Shinkwin was six clear with four holes to play and he kept his foot on the gas, two-putting for a birdie on the driveable 15th.

Shinkwin bogeyed the 16th and Syme got his second successive birdie there to close the gap to four with two to play.

But the leader produced a gutsy par save at the 17th to avoid another two-shot swing and head to the last three clear of Syme, who made birdie at the penultimate hole.

A closing par for Shinkwin meant he could celebrate his second title with loved ones on the green.

Shinkwin said: "I feel great, even though I had a few shots of a lead heading into the back nine it’s still not easy, especially when Connor then made a charge. 

"There was a lot of pressure still and even down the last, it’s not an easy hole, a lot of people have made a high number there even if they’ve hit the fairway.

"It’s still one of those ones you have to commit to with your shots.

“There were no crowds in Cyprus and I was behind going into the final round then shot a great score and won in the play-off. 

"Here I was in the lead heading into the final round and obviously it went very tight, then a big gap, then tight-ish again. It’s different this time.

"Connor didn’t really come into it until he eagled 11, he was four under at the time, then he didn’t do anything straight after that. But then he birdied 15, 16 and 17 and the 17th was the big one for me, holing that par putt to guarantee a three-shot lead going down the last.

“I changed putter recently and I was using that exact same model three years ago, so I just kind of altered it. Instead of using a line on the top I put a dot and ever since then I’ve been rolling the ball really well.

“The scores haven’t been there before this but this week was my week. Winning anywhere is fantastic, it’s a great feeling, winning with family and friends here it means so much more.”

Syme said: "I’ve had some good results here in the past, a third and an eighth so I do seem to like this golf course and I think Callum has had some similarly good vibes around here as well.

"So I’m obviously pleased with solo second, I was aware that was going to be my best result - I’ve had a solo second before but for the points this is a slightly bigger tournament, I’m really pleased and it’s a great platform to build on."

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