Karlberg wins dramatic play-off in Italy

Mon 21 Sep 2015

Karlberg wins dramatic play-off in Italy

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September 21: Two-time Asian Tour winner Rikard Karlberg of Sweden defeated Germany's Martin Kaymer on the second play-off hole to win the 72° OPEN D'ITALIA presented by DAMIANI on Sunday.
Karlberg, who was three shots off the pace heading into the final round, took advantage of Kaymer's stumble on the back nine where the German dropped three shots. The Swede birdied three of his last five holes to force extra time with Kaymer after both of them tied on 19-under-par 269 total at the Golf Club Milano in Parco Reale di Monza, Italy.
The duo parred the first play-off hole on the par-four 18th before Karlberg outplayed Kaymer with a birdie against a par in the second attempt thanks to a terrific approach over the trees to within 15 feet.
“I thought I had a good chance this week because I have been playing very well lately but then when we were getting near to the end of the round I didn’t think I had done enough.
“But then I managed the birdies at 16 and 17 which was good enough to get into the play-off. Then to go on and win against a player as good as Martin Kaymer in sudden death makes it very special,” said the 28-year-old Karlberg.
“I had a perfect yardage for my second shot in the second play-off hole and I hit a lovely draw in there. Then I kind of knew the line from my previous putt and I hit a brilliant putt to make the birdie. It feels amazing to get my first win and it has been a pretty crazy year for me. I got married and now my wife is expecting twins in December!” added the Swede.
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner David Lipsky of the United States finished one shot back in tied-third place following a 68 while Korea’s Y.E. Yang settled for tied-25th on 275 after closing with a 67.
Asian Tour members Wade Ormsby of Australia, as well as Indian duo Jeev Milkha Singh and Shiv Kapur came in tied-33rd following rounds of 66, 71 and 69 respectively while S.S.P Chawrasia, also of India, settled a further shot back in tied-44th on 278 in Milan.
Over in the United States, Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri of India closed with a 71 to finish seven shots back of American winner Chez Reavie in tied-16th place at the second leg of the Web.com Tour Finals - Small Business Connection Championship at River Run on Sunday.
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
Lahiri, ranked 40th in the world, compiled a four-day total of 280 at the River Run Country Club to sit in seventh place on the WCT Finals ranking with total earnings of US$49,750. He had finished tied-sixth at the Hotel Fitness Championship last week.
The 28-year-old Indian, who won twice on the Asian Tour this season, has to stay inside the top-25 on the Finals money list by the end of next week to secure his PGA Tour card.
Prior to the start of the Web.com Tour finals, Lahiri figured that a total of US$50,000 would secure his place inside the top 25 on the Finals money list.
“I think that if I’m close to $50,000, it should be enough. That’s what everyone’s saying. That’s a chance I have to take.I might decide later tonight whether I play next week or not, but as things stand, I might not tee it up next week,” said Lahiri, who had earlier qualify for the prestigious Presidents Cup next month.
Miguel Tabuena of Philippines Miguel Tabuena of Philippines
In the Philippines, young talent Miguel Tabuena won the Order of Merit title on his domestic circuit after closing with a bogey-free 67 for a second straight victory at the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Filipino fired three birdies and one eagle to claim a nine-shot victory over compatriot Jhonnel Ababa at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Manila.
He was crowned the 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion as his closest challenger Antonio Lascuna failed to narrow the gap following a 12th-place finish in Luisita.
With a difference of P665,957 separating Tabuena and second-placed Lascuna, Tabuena has virtually sealed the Merit crown ahead of the season-ending event of his local circuit next week.
“It’s a nice feeling to win again but I plan to concentrate more on the Asian Tour where I hope to play with this level of confidence against the best in the region,” said Tabuena, who will return onto the Asian Tour for the Asia-Pacific Open Mitsubishi Diamond Cup in Japan next week.
At the ANA Open in Japan, Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng came in tied-11th after closing with a 72 to settle seven shots back of winner Ryo Ishikawa of Japan at the Wattsu Golf Club in Sapporo.
Photo of Rikard Karlberg - Credits: Gettyimages 
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