Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent sank a seven-foot putt on the final hole to seal a one-shot win over Travis Smyth in the International Series England on Sunday.
Vincent had begun the last day of this inaugural Asian Tour event in the UK a shot behind Smyth but after a tense birdie tussle on the back nine with the overnight leader he emerged with his maiden triumph on the tour after a final round of 66 for a 272 total.
“It’s amazing,” said the 30-year-old who had a nervous start to the week waiting for his delayed clubs to turn up at Hexham’s Slaley Hall.
“This is the tour I started on, so obviously it’s nice to get the first win out here. It has felt like a long time but my game is trending in a good direction.”
Vincent was adding this to his win last Sunday in the Mizuno Open on the Japan Golf Tour Organisation, where he now has three wins.
Three rounds in the 60s left him at seven-under-par and a stroke off the lead.
He picked up shots on the opening two holes, only to give them both back after encountering tree trouble on the third.
“Three was just a huge anomaly,” he said. “After coming off that kind of start, you hate to give it away so quickly but I knew there was so much still to play.”
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Vincent mustered four birdies in six holes to the 16th to take control but Australian Smyth launched his own scoring spree and drew level at 12-under-par on the par-three 17th.
Smyth pushed his approach to the last into a greenside bunker, with Vincent finding the front of the green.
After his Aussie rival was unable to get up and down he kept his composure after coming up short with a title-clinching long-range birdie putt.
Despite coming off second best Smyth described his week as “awesome” after his closing 68 for his best finish on the Asian Tour.
Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana secured third place after shooting a 69 to finish three shots behind Vincent, while South African Justin Harding was a shot further back after also carding a 69.
Five golfers earned their spot at the $25million LIV Invitational Series at St Alban’s Centurion Club next week.
Smyth and Viraj Madappa from India both claimed a berth as the two highest-finishers who were not otherwise exempt.
South African Ian Snyman, Kevin Yuan from Australia and Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat will be joining them.
Vincent, who is set to break into the top 100 on the Official World Golf Rankings when they are updated on Monday had already booked his place in the field for the inaugural $25-million LIV Golf Invitational Series event in England.
The field is headlined by former world No 1 Dustin Johnson while South African golf stars Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Charl Schwartzel are among several former major winners to participate.
— Asian Tour (@asiantourgolf) June 5, 2022