Richard McEvoy wins Porsche European Open for first top-tier title

Last Updated July 29 2018, 15:44Golf
Richard McEvoy won the Porsche European Open
Richard McEvoy won the Porsche European Open

Richard McEvoy won his first European Tour title after a dramatic conclusion to the Porsche European Open.

Leaderboard

-11 Richard McEvoy

-10 Allen John (a), Christofer Blomstrand, Renato Paratore

Day four report

Richard McEvoy won his first European Tour title after a dramatic conclusion to the Porsche European Open.

The 39-year-old was a Challenge Tour winner just seven days ago but this was his first top-tier success as he birdied the last to win by a shot from Allen John, Christofer Blomstrand and Renato Paratore.

As Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed both struggled over the closing stages of the tournament, it was German amateur John who produced the round of the day to post 10-under in the clubhouse.

John, who is deaf and had abandoned a previous professional career to return to the amateur ranks, birdied three of his final four holes in a round of 67 which so nearly earned him a play-off.

John's total was matched by Blomstrand and Paratore, both of whom signed off with birdies and the latter in style, as he flew his second shot between trees and to the back of the green before missing his eagle putt.

DeChambeau had traded odds-on when taking the lead but bogeys at 15 and 16, both after penalty shots, saw him fall behind and he again came unstuck at the closing hole with a snap hook into water off the tee before running up an eight.

Compatriot Reed also found water at the 18th and the stage was left clear for McEvoy to seek the birdie he needed to avoid a four-man play-off.

The accurate Englishman played to his strengths, laying up with his second shot before firing a wedge to the heart of the green and sinking a 20-foot putt for a first title in his 285th European Tour start.

"Incredible, absolutely incredible," said McEvoy. "I fought hard, I believed. I did exactly the same last week - I tried to enjoy my golf as much as possible.

"It's just come up proper trumps!"

Asked how big a factor his Challenge Tour victory had been, he added: "It started a couple of weeks ago.

"I played a pro-am at Queenwood, shot 64, a course record, and beat the likes of Rory, Justin Rose, Adam Scott and a few other boys.

"That was the start of the confidence kick, really, and then last week, another boost.

"It's incredible. Seventeen years as a pro... I'm over the moon, absolutely over the moon."

Day three report

Richard McEvoy will have the chance to add a first European Tour title to the Challenge Tour trophy he won a week ago as he shares the lead heading into the final round of the Porsche European Open.

The 39-year-old veteran has paid 12 visits to Qualifying School over the years but could now be just 18 holes from earning a deserved top-tier breakthrough after more than holding his own during an interrupted Saturday at Green Eagle Golf Club.

To do so, he'll have to fend off likely challenges from US pair Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed, with Austria's Matthias Schwab completing a quartet of players who've established daylight between themselves and the rest of the pack.

McEvoy made three birdies in four holes around the turn to keep his name at the top of the leaderboard as he registered a three-under 69 after a par at the last.

A week ago, he dominated a Challenge Tour event held in France for his third victory at that level and will now look to fulfil the promise of an amateur career which included a Walker Cup appearance alongside Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell at the start of the century.

"It was good. I was a little disappointed with the back nine, missed a few chances coming in on the last four holes or so but the change in conditions made it quite tough," he said.

"My mind set will be much the same as last week. I’ve been playing very solidly, I’m enjoying being at the top of the leaderboard which is great and I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I’m just playing golf, exactly like I did last week and I prevailed then so fingers crossed that I can finish it off again tomorrow."

McEvoy's mid-range miss at the par-five 18th allowed DeChambeau the chance to regain a share of the lead, and he took it to ensure that the pair will tee-off together once more in Sunday's final group.

DeChambeau made two bogeys for the second day in succession but again ended on a high as he seeks to add a first European Tour title to the two he's won on the PGA Tour.

"I hung in there," said DeChambeau. "On the front nine I had nothing, I was so happy the storm came through because that gave me a little time to get the game back in order and I was able to do that and play well on the back nine.

"If I’m comfortable out there and I can hit the right shots and have the kind of repeatability (sic) that I think I can produce out there, it’s going to be a tough one for anybody to get me."

Reed and Schwab will also retain their pairing, the former having carded four birdies and a bogey while Schwab signed off with a birdie having made a meal of par-fives at the ninth and 11th.

Reed is the only European Tour winner among the four, his WGC and Masters titles both qualifying, but none of them have won an event at this level on European soil, a fact which may well change at the end of round four.

Alone in fifth is Paul Casey after three birdies over the closing eight holes saw him move to within three of the leaders, with David Drysdale disappointed to be among a share of sixth after undoing much of his good work with a double bogey at the last.

Sky Bet make DeChambeau their narrow 15/8 favourite ahead of 2/1 shot Reed, with McEvoy 5/1 and Schwab 8/1. It's 10/1 Casey and 40/1 bar.

Day two report

American duo Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed fired a Ryder Cup warning as they threatened to dominate the Porsche European Open over the weekend.

DeChambeau birdied four of his final seven holes for a second-round 68 to retake the clubhouse lead from his compatriot on 10-under, Reed having charged to a round of 66 and eight-under total earlier in the day.

Perhaps the biggest threat to a stars-and-stripes procession comes from two players vying for places on the European Ryder Cup side, with Alex Levy three off the lead and Paul Casey a further shot back on six-under.

Reed was criticised on Thursday for taking his frustrations out on a TV cameraman, but this time the course was his victim as the Masters champion completed an outstanding round with a long-range birdie at the ninth, his last.

"I hit half the greens yesterday and I missed three today," said Reed in his post-round interview.

"I just went back and talked to my coach on the phone (after his first round) and he said, 'Don't over-think it'.

"I felt I could go into attack mode today and when my putter gets going I have the opportunity to make birdies."

DeChambeau's progress was slower under tougher afternoon conditions, but birdies at the 12th and 13th saw him move back in the right direction and two more followed, although he'll feel aggrieved not to have made eagle after a stunning approach to the par-five 18th.

Separating the pair are Austrian youngster Matthias Schwab and England's Richard McEvoy, the latter building on last week's Challenge Tour victory with a second-round 65 which was completed by an eagle three.

Alongside Reed sit Frenchman Romain Wattel and Scotland's David Drysdale, with Wales' Bradley Dredge alongside Levy on seven-under.

Day one report

Bryson DeChambeau comfortably outscored tournament favourites Paul Casey and Patrick Reed to take the first-round lead at the Porsche European Open.

The American shot a six-under-par 66, which was three better than his English rival, while compatriot and Masters champion Reed was four strokes back courtesy of a birdie-birdie finish at the Green Eagle Golf Courses in Hamburg.

Three Frenchmen, Joel Stalter, Romain Wattel and Mike Lorenzo-Vera, and Germany's Benedict Staben, led the immediate challenge a shot further back.

"It's great to start out with six under par. I think it's one of my lowest rounds on the European Tour so I'm very pleased," the world number 23, playing in only his sixth regular tournament on the European Tour outside of the majors and WGC events, told europeantour.com.

"I haven't been hitting it my best so I'm still working on my game and it's starting to turn into some form.

"I'm missing in the right places and making some putts which is great. If you do that out here you're going to be up there."

Starting at the 10th he carded four birdies in his opening nine holes and - although he dropped a shot at the par-four third - he produced three further birdies in his last six holes, including a brilliant approach to the 517-yard last with his third from behind a tree.

World number 15 Casey briefly had a share of the lead at four under through nine holes, including an eagle on the par-five 18th, and a birdie at the last saw him bounce back from a double bogey at the short eighth.

That left him in a large group, including compatriot David Horsey and Scotland's David Drysdale, on three under.

Among those a shot better off were Welshman Bradley Dredge, and English pair Steven Brown and Oliver Fisher.

Reed, who appeared to be hampered by a knee injury, began with a birdie but struggled to find the fairway all afternoon finding a lot of the left rough - which cost him a shot on the par-five 11th.

Having fought to make pars on many holes he had a stroke of luck at the 17th when his birdie putt hit the back of the cup and dropped - otherwise it would have raced several feet past - and he followed that by picking up another shot at the last to close on two under.

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