Sami Valimaki claims Oman Open after thrilling playoff

Young Finn took his first European Tour win after graduating from Qualifying School

Sami Valimaki of Finland poses with the trophy after winning the Oman Open. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Sami Valimaki of Finland poses with the trophy after winning the Oman Open. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

Sami Valimaki overcame Brandon Stone in a play-off to win his first European Tour title at the Oman Open.

The Finn claimed four wins on the satellite Pro Golf Tour after turning professional in January last year but was playing just his sixth European Tour event following his step up at the Qualifying School.

Ardglass man Cormac Sharvin fired a closing round of 70 to finish at four under in a tie for 36th and pocket a cheque for €10,658.12.

Valimaki was outside the top 100 after day one in Muscat but climbed the leaderboard over the weekend and was alongside Stone in a six-strong tie for the lead after round three.

The South African holed a gutsy 20-foot putt on the 18th to set the target at 13 under after a 70 and pile the pressure on Valimaki, who was playing in the group behind and needed a birdie of his own to take the contest to extra holes.

The 21-year-old left himself around 20 feet for his closing gain that set up the play-off, and the duo could not be separated as they both made par on the first two trips back up the last.

They both hit perfect drives at the third time of asking but Stone sent his second shot clattering into the stands and could not get up and down, leaving Valimaki to take the trophy with a par.

“It’s awesome,” Valimaki told europeantour.com. “There are not many words to say, it’s unbelievable.

“After the ninth hole when I made a double I knew that the 10th hole is good and I had to make a birdie on that.

“I didn’t make a really good par on 11 and after that bogey I felt like, ‘okay this is gone’. But then I just grinded, made three birdies and on the last, an awesome birdie.”

Frenchman Adrien Saddier bogeyed the 17th to finish a shot out of the play-off after a closing 69, with Finn Mikko Korhonen and Italian Guido Migliozzi at 11 under.

England’s Jordan Smith finished in the group at nine under, a shot clear of countryman Robert Rock and Scottish pair Grant Forrest and Connor Syme.

Englishman Callum Shinkwin had led by one shot with nine holes to play but made a quadruple-bogey on the 17th as he eventually finished at six under.

Collated final round scores in the Oman Open, Alb Mouj Golf, Oman (British unless stated, par 72):

275 Brandon Stone (Rsa) 67 71 67 70, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 74 67 64 70 (Valimaki wins on 3rd hole)

276 Adrien Saddier (Fra) 72 68 67 69

277 Guido Migliozzi (Ita) 66 72 68 71, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 73 67 65 72

279 Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 70 69 72 68, Jordan Smith 70 70 67 72, Rasmus Hojgaard (Den) 67 68 70 74, George Coetzee (Rsa) 68 73 72 66

280 Ross Fisher 68 75 70 67, Joost Luiten (Ned) 69 69 67 75, Clement Sordet (Fra) 70 71 66 73, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 73 69 67 71, Grant Forrest 70 73 69 68, Connor Syme 73 70 69 68, Antoine Rozner (Fra) 71 70 70 69, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 69 70 73 68

281 Haotong Li (Chn) 73 69 68 71, Robin Roussel (Fra) 75 69 67 70, Tae Hee Lee (Kor) 67 75 70 69, Matthew Jordan 77 67 71 66, Shaun Norris (Rsa) 72 71 70 68, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 69 67 73 72, Gavin Green (Mal) 71 70 73 67

282 S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 68 75 72 67, Paul Waring 70 73 68 71, Callum Shinkwin 69 70 66 77, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 69 70 71 72, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 68 73 76 65

283 Kalle Samooja (Fin) 71 65 72 75, Stephen Gallacher 68 67 74 74, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 72 72 73 66, Richard McEvoy 70 68 74 71, Justin Walters (Rsa) 69 74 67 73, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 68 74 68 73

284 Cormac Sharvin (NIrl) 75 67 72 70, Marcus Armitage 72 72 71 69, Robert Rock 73 65 71 75, Darius Van Driel (Ned) 71 69 72 72, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 69 72 70 73, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 72 70 71 71, Thomas Detry (Bel) 71 72 71 70

285 Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 68 75 69 73, Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 71 70 73 71, Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 72 71 72 70, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 71 68 72 74, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 71 72 70 72, Chris Paisley 73 69 71 72, Alexander Levy (Fra) 69 75 71 70

286 Jeff Winther (Den) 69 72 69 76, Jamie Donaldson 71 73 71 71, Ashley Chesters 73 70 74 69, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 70 72 72 72

287 Richard Bland 72 71 69 75, Ben Stow 73 69 73 72, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 73 71 71 72, Nicolai Hojgaard (Den) 73 71 71 72, Calum Hill 73 68 74 72, James Morrison 74 70 72 71

288 Steven Brown 69 74 71 74, Johannes Veerman (USA) 72 70 73 73

289 Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 72 70 71 76, Aaron Cockerill (Can) 69 73 70 77, Lars Van Meijel (Ned) 72 72 71 74

290 Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 74 69 73 74, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 73 70 74 73

291 Scott Hend (Aus) 70 72 72 77, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 73 71 73 74, Jack Singh Brar 71 73 73 74, Robin Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 70 73 73 75

292 Sean Crocker (USA) 72 71 71 78

293 Benjamin Poke (Den) 71 73 72 77

294 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 71 72 70 81

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.