Foster wins Dunhill title from six-way play-off

 

England's Mark Foster claimed his maiden tournament victory in incredible style after only the second six-man play-off in European Tour history in the Dunhill Championship.

Foster missed putts on the 72nd hole and first hole in sudden death which would have won him the title at Houghton, Johannesburg.

But the 27-year-old from Worksop made it third time lucky with an eagle from 40-feet on the second play-off hole to beat Trevor Immelman, Paul Lawrie, Bradford Vaughan, Anders Hansen and Doug McGuigan to the £79,000 first prize.

The only other six-man play-off came 13 years ago in the Atlantic Open when Stephen McAllister beat Anders Sorenson, Richard Boxall, David Williams, Stephen Hamill and Ronan Rafferty.

Hansen was the first man eliminated when he could only manage a par five on the first extra hole, the 18th, while Vaughan and Lawrie made birdie.

Immelman then also birdied, leaving his eagle chip inches short, and Foster had almost the same putt he had on the 72nd hole for an eagle and the title.

The result was the same however, narrowly missing on the left, but he made birdie before McGuigan missed from six feet to join Hansen on the sidelines.

That left the foursome to play the 18th again and Foster hit another superb fairway wood into the heart of the green, some 40-feet short of the pin.

Immelman chipped to within three feet to make almost certain of his birdie while Lawrie and Vaughan still had chances to also make a birdie four.

But Foster was not to be denied this time and rolled in his long eagle putt to go one better than last year when he finished joint second behind Justin Rose.

Earlier Lawrie was the first to set the clubhouse target at 15-under with birdies at three of his last four holes completing a superb closing 67.

Immelman then conjured up another spectacular finish with an eagle on the 18th in an inward half of 31, just seven days after making birdie on the 72nd hole and first hole of a play-off to win the South African Open.

Foster had a good chance to break the deadlock but saw his birdie putt slide past the hole, before McGuigan two-putted from just off the green to join the tie.

Hansen then matched Immelman's eagle on the 18th but could only stand and watch as Vaughan missed from six feet with a birdie putt which would have given him the title.

Gary Murphy was the only Irishman to make the cut and closed with a final round 69 to finish in a tie for 15th place on 10-under 278.

Latest scores at the Dunhill Championship in Johannesburg
(Irish and Gbr unless stated, Irishin bold, Par 72)

(six-way sudden death play-off)
(Foster wins at second extra play-off hole)

15under- Mark Foster (after 72 holes)
Paul Lawrie (72)
Bradford Vaughan (Rsa) (72)
Trevor Immelman (Rsa) (72)
Doug McGuigan (72)
Anders Hansen (Den) (72)

13under- Justin Rose (72)
Richard Sterne (Rsa) (72)

12under- Steen Tinning (Den) (72)
Paul Casey (72)
Ian Poulter (72)

Selected others:

10 under- Gary Murphy (72)

7 under- Lee Westwood (72)