Callum Shinkwin claimed his second DP World Tour title at the Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale after the Englishman cruised to a four-shot victory at The Celtic Manor Resort.
The 29-year-old held a one-stroke advantage over Frenchman Julien Guerrier heading into the final round and, while he did relinquish the outright lead early on after a bogey at the third hole, he soon extended his lead and ruthlessly hammered home a dominant victory.
Three successive birdies from the fourth and another at the ninth meant he was five clear at the turn on the Twenty Ten Course and Shinkwin never relented, while Guerrier fell back as the Frenchman struggled on the final day.
A couple of birdies on the way home earned Shinkwin a one under final round 70 and a 12 under par winning total.
Connor Syme had mounted a late charge with an eagle at the part five 11th followed by a trio of consecutive birdies from the 15th hole, but it was not enough to put serious pressure on the runaway leader and the Scot settled for a runner-up finish on eight under par, signing for a closing 68.
Callum Shinkwin: “I feel great, even though I had a few shots of a lead heading into the back nine it’s still not easy, especially when Connor then made a charge. There was a lot of pressure still and even down the last, it’s not an easy hole, a lot of people have made a high number there even if they’ve hit the fairway. It’s still one of those ones you have to commit to with your shots.
“There were no crowds in Cyprus and I was behind going into the final round then shot a great score and won in the play-off. Here I was in the lead heading into the final round and obviously it went very tight, then big gap, then tight-ish again. It’s much different this time.
“Connor didn’t really come into it until he eagled 11, he was four under at the time, then he didn’t do anything straight after that. But then he birdied 15, 16 and 17 and the 17th was the big one for me, holing that par putt to guarantee a three-shot lead going down the last.
“I changed putter recently and I was using that exact same model three years ago, so I just kind of altered it. Instead of using a line on the top I put a dot and ever since then I’ve been rolling the ball really well.
“The scores haven’t been there before this but this week was my week. Winning anywhere is fantastic, it’s a great feeling, winning with family and friends here it means so much more.”
Connor Syme: “Overall I’m pretty pleased to be honest, obviously I was six back going into the day so I knew the leaders were more than likely going to have to come back to me. My target was to try and get to 12 under and see what happened but the putts just didn’t drop on the front nine to be totally honest.
“I said to Callum there, did I make you feel any pressure at all, but it was a really clutch putt on the 17th to stay three ahead going down the last. Fair play to him, his putter was great today, he played very well and he deserved the win.
“It is weird, because it felt like a tournament within a tournament there for a little while and then I noticed I still had a chance to win. I knew the birdies were important to even try and finish solo second, and it obviously then depended on what Callum was doing because he was so far ahead at that point. He was better than all of us this week.
“I’ve had some good results here in the past, a third and an eighth so I do seem to like this golf course and I think Callum has had some similarly good vibes around here as well. So I’m obviously pleased with solo second, I was aware that was going to be my best result – I’ve had a solo second before but for the points this is a slightly bigger tournament, I’m really pleased and it’s a great platform to built on.”