Date: September 16, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Joost Luiten lands home win at Dutch Open

Joost Luiten defeated Miguel Angel Jimenez in a play-off to become only the second home winner of the Dutch Open in the European Tour era. A solid par on his return to the 18th was enough to seal victory for the overnight leader after he and Jimenez had finished three shots clear of the field at 12 under par at Zandvoort. The veteran Spaniard missed the fairway to the right on the one and only play-off hole, and then three-putted from off the front of the green to post a bogey at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club. Luiten, who follows in the footsteps of 2003 champion Maarten Lafeber, had earlier carded a two-under 68, while Jimenez shot 67 in regulation play as both men found life tough in increasingly windy conditions over the closing holes. Jimenez – already the oldest winner in European Tour history after his triumph in last November&aposs Hong Kong Open at the age of 48 years and 318 days – had started his final round with four birdies in the first six holes but picked up only one further shot before bogeying 15 and 17. That opened the door for Luiten, who is now the first Dutchman to claim two titles in a European Tour season. Describing his elation at winning on home soil, Luiten said: “To win it now, I can&apost believe it yet. I think tonight it will all come to me. “I think it&aposs pretty big. Maarten Lafeber did it in 2003 and that was huge. To have another Dutch winner now I think it will help the game here.” Luiten paid tribute to Jimenez, who had emerged triumphant in his previous three play-offs, adding: “He was tough. He was playing really good, especially on the front nine, and I was struggling a little bit and made a few mistakes. “I thought I just had to hang in there until the back nine and hopefully make a move there. Luckily it happened.” Below Luiten and Jimenez were Frenchman Gregory Havret, English pair Ross Fisher and three-time Dutch Open winner Simon Dyson, and Irishman Damien McGrane. All four players were tied at nine under, while France&aposs Julien Quesne was a shot further back in seventh. Of the Australians in the field, Robert Allenby ended in a tie for 11th at five under, while Marcus Fraser was a further shot adrift in equal 16th. Richard Green, the only other Aussie to make the cut, claimed a share of 30th at one under.