07 June 2021: An emotional Marcus Armitage claimed his maiden European Tour title at the Porsche European Open, sealing a two shot victory after a sensational seven under par final round of 65 at Green Eagle Golf Courses. Ajeetesh Sandhu started the final road just three back from the lead, but after a hard day’s grind settled for T29 at 3-over 2016.
Sandhu started off on a bright note. He made birdies on the first two holes pushing himself into immediate contention. But a double at the par-4 fourth hole negated his start and he went out in an even 34 strokes.
The back nine was punctuated by birdies at the 11th and 14th holes. But his chances were dented by a triple bogey at the par-5 16th hole. Eventually Sandhu settled for a 75, which dropped twenty spots on the leaderboard, from his overnight position of T9.
Armitage made six birdies and an eagle to race to into a four shot lead through 15 holes, but after a bogey on the 16th and a remarkable chip to save par on the 17th, he faced an anxious wait to see whether any of the closing groups could reach his eight under par total.
His compatriot Matthew Southgate was his closest challenger and was just one shot back standing on the 18th tee, but he could only send his drive into the water on the last to fall back into the pack on six under par, confirming Armitage’s first win in his 71st European Tour appearance.
The 33 year old lost his mother to Jean to cancer as a teenager and was clearly emotional after becoming the fourth consecutive English winner in Hamburg, following Jordan Smith, Richard McEvoy and Paul Casey.
Southgate was joined in a tie for second place at six under par by Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, Thomas Detry of Belgium and Dutchman Darius Van Driel. Defending champion Casey was then two shots further back in sixth place.
Armitage, Southgate, Molinari and Detry all sealed their places in the U.S. Open as this week marked the last opportunity for players to qualify for Torrey Pines as the top ten aggregate Race to Dubai points earners, not otherwise exempt, from the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett, Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA and Porsche European Open.
The full top ten is: Richard Bland, Guido Migliozzi, Bernd Wiesberger, Marcus Armitage, Mikko Korhonen, Jordan Smith, Adrian Meronk, Edoardo Molinari, Dave Coupland, Thomas Detry and Matthew Southgate.
Marcus Armitage: “It means everything. It’s what you dream about as a kid. It’s funny, I had a 20-footer down the hill on the last and I stood over it and thought about the amount of times you’ve stood on the putting green as a kid and said ‘two putts to win a Tour event’. I did it. It’s massive for me, for my family. A lot of hard work and it’s just massive for everyone who’s involved with Marcus Armitage.
“I’m an emotional guy. I just tried to breathe in, be calm, don’t touch my phone, then you start thinking about everyone at home, like my fiancée, what it means. Emotion comes up, and you put a lid on it.
“I lost my mum 20 years ago. I’ve dreamt about this since that day, being a winner. You have times when you think it might not happen. I just stuck at it. Today is a great day, I’m sure she’d be proud. I’ve everybody in my team that’s helped me. This one’s for me. Deep down, it’s for me. All those lonely days on my own, dealing with life. I’m sure a lot of people do the same, this one’s for me. All those lonely days working at my dream. I’ve got to take a lot of credit for it myself.
“It’s the U.S. Open Tour Bag that you get, you know the Callaway speciality bag? I’ve got an Open one coming. To have a U.S. Open one to go with that and to go to Torrey Pines, San Diego, where I watched it when Tiger won there back in ’08. It’s going to be a special, special trip. I can’t wait.”
208 M ARMITAGE (ENG) 72 71 65,
210 T DETRY (BEL) 68 73 69, E MOLINARI (ITA) 75 65 70, D VAN DRIEL (NED) 71 69 70, M SOUTHGATE (ENG) 70 69 71,
212 P CASEY (ENG) 75 69 68,
213 B HEBERT (FRA) 70 74 69, M SCHNEIDER (GER) 70 73 70, M KORHONEN (FIN) 74 67 72, D LAW (SCO) 69 71 73,
214 J SMITH (ENG) 73 72 69, R FOX (NZL) 71 74 69, J LUITEN (NED) 76 68 70, D WHITNELL (ENG) 71 74 69, S CROCKER (USA) 72 71 71, R PARATORE (ITA) 74 69 71, M ANTCLIFF (AUS) 71 68 75,
215 W BESSELING (NED) 73 72 70, J SENIOR (ENG) 73 72 70, A CHESTERS (ENG) 69 75 71, C SYME (SCO) 75 69 71, K SAMOOJA (FIN) 74 70 71, T PULKKANEN (FIN) 72 71 72, S JAMIESON (SCO) 70 70 75,
216 J CAMPILLO (ESP) 78 67 71, D HORSEY (ENG) 76 68 72, K KITAYAMA (USA) 72 73 71, R RAMSAY (SCO) 77 69 70,
217 S HEISELE (GER) 75 70 72, R KARLBERG (SWE) 70 74 73, R ENOCH (WAL) 72 73 72, M KAWAMURA (JPN) 76 70 71, C HILL (SCO) 76 68 73, A BJ?RK (SWE) 69 74 74, M LORENZO-VERA (FRA) 76 70 71, L CANTER (ENG) 76 67 74, B POKE (DEN) 70 72 75, A SANDHU (IND) 72 70 75, D PAPADATOS (AUS) 72 75 70,