England’s Daniel Gavins holed 30-foot putt on the 18th green at Al Hamra Golf Club in the UAE to win the Ras Al Khaimah Championship in the most dramatic fashion.
The 31-year-old from Leeds held a two-shot lead as he headed to the 18th tee, but found the water twice at the last to seriously dent his chances of winning the title.
But with nearest challenger Alexander Björk finishing his round with a bogey up ahead, Gavins had a double-bogey putt from around 30 feet at the 18th to set the new target at 17 under par. And he duly holed it to limit the damage to two dropped shots, but there were still twists and turns to come as third-round leader Zander Lombard gave himself an eagle chance on the last to potentially force a play-off. But the South African narrowly missed his putt from 24 feet to hand Gavins a second DP World title to add to the ISPS HANDA World Invitational he won in 2021.
Gavins closed with a roller-coaster 69 that contained eight birdies – including five in a row from the second hole – as well as three bogeys and a closing double bogey, to win by one shot. Björk and Lombard were in a tie for second on 16 under, with Adrian Meronk and Thorbjørn Olesen another stroke further back.
Gavins began the day two shots off the lead and slipped further off the pace after opening his fourth round with a bogey. But he recovered in style, draining a monster putt from more than 40 feet at the second for a bounce-back birdie. He then took advantage of the par-five third before making a third successive birdie at the short fourth after his tee-shot had finished in the fringe.
Gavins made it four in a row from around 15 feet on the fifth hole before another lengthy putt at the sixth gave him his fifth straight birdie. The run ended at the short seventh but he notched another birdie at the long eighth to get to 19 under.
After being unable to reach the ninth green in two, Gavins carded a bogey there before dropping another shot at the 12th to hand a share of the lead to Björk. But he produced a remarkable up-and-down on the par-five 14th for a birdie to regain the solo lead and then followed that up with another birdie at the 15th from close range following a sensational iron shot off the tee.
He protected his two-shot lead with a good up-and-down for par on the 16th before safely parring the 17th. But he found the water off the 18th tee before also dunking his fourth shot in the water to the right of the green. After sending his sixth shot to around 30 feet, he drained the putt to reach 17 under and secure the trophy.
Gavins said: “I feel speechless, to be honest. I just want to quickly thank my mum and dad – I forgot to thank them last time when I won! They’ve been great for me and they’ve supported me throughout my career, so massive thanks to those two, and especially my girlfriend as well.”
Speaking about his double bogey on the 18th, the Englishman added: “I’ve been struggling off the tee for the last two weeks and it’s not a very nice tee-shot to have, even with a two-shot lead. It was a difficult hole to get through and fortunately I holed a 30-footer. To be fair, I thought I was holing that for the play-off! I didn’t realise Björk had made a bogey. I thought I had given the tournament away. I put two in the water and thought ‘Well that’s one way to end the tournament really’. When I sunk the putt and then went to the back of the green and saw that I was actually winning still, it was kind of a big shock!”