Sami Välimäki rocketed up the Race to Dubai Rankings after sealing a first European Tour win with a dramatic play-off triumph over Brandon Stone on a thrilling final day at the Oman Open.
The Finn, who was making only his sixth European Tour start after graduating from Qualifying School last year, forced a play-off with the South African after sinking a mammoth putt at the last to get to a tournament total of 13 under par. It then took three trips back down the 18th before the 21-year-old sealed his maiden win when Stone made bogey after finding trouble with his second shot.
“I feel awesome!” said Välimäki, who picks up 460 Race to Dubai points with his triumph to surge up to 13th from 103rd in the Rankings. “I knew after the ninth hole that I had dropped down the leaderboard after my double bogey. I realised that I needed to card two birdies and I did that on the 16th and the 18th to make the play-off.
“I thought I was going to miss the putt on the last in regulation but thank god it went in the hole and gave me the chance to win the tournament. It’s great that more Finnish golfers are doing well in the sport and golf is getting more popular in Finland.”
Stone, who was searching for a fourth European Tour title, collects 305 Race to Dubai points for his runner-up finish which see him climb up to 18th from 69th in the Rankings.
Meanwhile, Adrien Saddier narrowly missed out on getting into the play-off by just one shot after making bogey on the 17th. The Frenchman, who also earned his European Tour playing privileges with a tied eighth finish at Qualifying School last year, banks 172 Race to Dubai points to surge up to 50th from 178th in the Rankings.
Mikko Korhonen and Guido Migliozzi finished a shot further back as they shared fourth. Both players collect 126.5 Race to Dubai points which see Korhonen jump up to 57th from 143rd while Migliozzi enters the Rankings in 73rd.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 19-22, 2020 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.