Joost Luiten holds off battling Chris Wood to take Oman Open

Dutchman closes with 68 to win by two shots from English golfer

Joost Luiten of the Netherlands celebrates with the trophy and the volunteers after the final round of the NBO Oman Open at Al Mouj Golf  in Muscat. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Joost Luiten of the Netherlands celebrates with the trophy and the volunteers after the final round of the NBO Oman Open at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

 

Joost Luiten fired a closing 68 to hold off the challenge of England’s Chris Wood and win the inaugural NBO Oman Open.

The Dutchman entered Sunday one shot ahead of Wood in a share of the lead but the two could not be separated at the turn.

The duo enjoyed an enthralling nip-and-tuck battle down the back nine but when Luiten holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th to get to 16 under and Wood bogeyed the next, the title was Luiten’s.

Wood finished alone in second at 14 under and it was an encouraging return to form the 2016 Ryder Cup player, who had missed his first three cuts of the season.

“I’m pretty down but in the grand scheme of things it’s night and day to how I’ve been,” he told europeantour.com.

“After a couple of days I’m sure I’ll reflect and see it’s a big step in the right direction this week.”

Wood hit the pin on the first and made a birdie to join the lead but a hat-trick of gains from the second moved Luiten three shots ahead.

A birdie on the sixth kept Wood within touching distance and when Luiten made back-to-back bogeys on the seventh and eighth, the pair were tied at the top.

Both men birdied the 12th but Luiten added another on the 13th and the leading pair both made further gains on the 16th before Wood’s late bogey handed Luiten some breathing space.

“It’s always tough to win out here, all these guys are so good and they keep putting pressure on you,” said Luiten.

“Down the stretch I hit some nice shots, I made some nice putts and it was a nice battle with my friend Woody.

“I need to win another couple to get into the Ryder Cup team but it’s a great start to the year for me.”

Frenchman Julien Guerrier finished third at 13 under, with England’s Robert Rock three shots further back, one ahead of countryman Matthew Southgate and Scot Stephen Gallacher.

Darren Clarke finished down the field on four over after weekend rounds of 78 and 75.

FINAL SCORES

(Britain and Ireland unless stated, par 72):

272 Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 66 66 68

274 Chris Wood 70 66 69 69

275 Julien Guerrier (Fra) 69 69 66 71

277 Alexander Levy (Fra) 71 69 67 70, Seung-su Han (USA) 70 69 70 68, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 73 70 66 68

278 Robert Rock 69 71 69 69, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 68 71 70 69

279 Stephen Gallacher 74 67 68 70, Matthew Southgate 65 70 69 75, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 72 70 69 68

280 Andrew Johnston 71 68 69 72, Nico Geyger (Chi) 72 72 67 69, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 72 68 70 70, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 69 71 66 74

281 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 69 69 74 69, Andy Sullivan 67 73 71 70, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 70 72 70 69, Sam Brazel (Aus) 68 71 72 70, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 73 71 67 70

282 Jeff Winther (Den) 70 71 71 70, Daan Huizing (Ned) 66 71 76 69

283 David Drysdale 72 70 70 71, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 74 68 71 70, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 70 72 71 70

284 Charlie Ford 69 74 70 71, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 73 71 70 70, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 72 72 70 70, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 73 69 74 68, Jordan Smith 68 72 72 72

285 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 68 65 75 77, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 71 73 67 74, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 68 71 71 75, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 72 68 72 73, Thomas Detry (Bel) 72 69 74 70, Lee Slattery 72 67 74 72

286 Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) 70 69 79 68, Clement Sordet (Fra) 74 70 71 71, Connor Syme 70 71 72 73, Scott Fernandez (Esp) 72 70 70 74, Aaron Rai 71 70 71 74, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 72 70 71 73, Soomin Lee (Kor) 69 74 72 71

287 Matt Wallace 69 72 75 71, Paul Waring 65 71 81 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 70 74 71 72, Eddie Pepperell 71 71 74 71, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 74 71 73, Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 73 71 72 71, Oliver Fisher 73 70 74 70

288 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 72 71 71 74, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 70 72 74 72

289 SSP Chawrasia (Ind) 73 69 76 71, Daniel Im (USA) 75 69 72 73, Ryan Evans 72 71 73 73

290 Scott Hend (Aus) 71 71 75 73, Callum Shinkwin 67 74 73 76, Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn) 69 74 71 76

291 Oliver Farr 68 71 72 80, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 71 72 71 77

292 Paul Lawrie 71 73 72 76, Darren Clarke 72 67 78 75

294 Marc Warren 69 72 80 73, Bradley Neil 74 69 79 72

295 Richard McEvoy 72 71 78 74, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 72 70 75 78, Jonathan Thomson 71 72 75 77

298 Gavin Green (Mal) 72 71 79 76

301 Pep Angles (Esp) 73 71 77 80

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