Joost Luiten claimed his first European Tour title of the season yesterday after winning the Wales Open at Celtic Manor by a shot following an even-par fourth round of 71.
The victory came despite a shaky bogey, bogey start which saw his two-shot overnight lead eradicated. However, a two-under-par back nine of 33 was enough to beat England’s Tommy Fleetwood by a shot.
“It was tough,” said the Dutchman. “It was hard work down the last. I didn't have the start I really wanted today.
“I just tried to hang in there and wait for my chances, and made some nice birdies at the end and a good par down the last was luckily enough.”
"The pressure there is a little bit different than when you play in another country." - Joost Luiten
After finishing fifth in the KLM Open on home soil last week, the 28-year-old failed to defend the championship he had won the previous year.
Although, Luiten maintains his 2013 KLM Open triumph proved he can get over the line in a pressure situation, experience that proved invaluable as he went down the home stretch at Celtic Manor.
“The pressure there is a little bit different than when you play in another country,” said Luiten, who made a strong push for this year’s European Ryder Cup team. “ easier when you play somewhere else when you are more in the shadow of other guys.
“So it was a very important experience, and I think all those little things that you learn in the past makes you a better player and that's why you can win trophies now.”
Tommy Fleetwood takes positives despite Joost Luiten loss
He may have missed out on his first win of the season, but 23-year-old Tommy Fleetwood was upbeat after his runner-up finish in Wales.
The world No.73 struggled over the summer months, missing four cuts in a row between May and June. After fifth place finishes at the Czech Masters and the Omega European Masters recently, and his runner-up spot yesterday, he is relishing being in contention on the final day.
"You can't practice this on the range when you're coming down the stretch in the top five." - Tommy Fleetwood
“After a poor summer, it was important I wanted to finish the season well,” said Fleetwood, who won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last year.
“I've been playing well recently and the more you get up there, the better. This is how you learn. You can't practice this on the range when you're coming down the stretch in the top five and just the more you do it, the better it is.
“I enjoy it and hopefully I'll do it again.”