The Punter's De-brief: Emotional Malnati wins again

Golfer Peter Malnati
Peter Malnati with the Valspar Championship trophy

Outsider, Peter Malnati, holds his nerve to win on the PGA Tour and Jesper Svensson comes from miles back to win in Singapore. Our man looks back at their victories here...

  • Young comes up short yet again

  • Read my Indian Open preview here

  • Read my Houston Open preview here


  • Keith Mitchell led the Valspar Championship by two strokes with a round to go but he really struggled from the get-go in round four.

    A wild drive at the first hole, which he managed to par, was a sign of things to come and after a four-over-par front nine and a bogey at the 10th, his race was run.

    He birdied the 18th to finish tied for 18th, sparing the blushes of those that backed him at 1.051/20 to finish inside the top-20!

    As Mitchell tumbled down the leaderboard, Canada's Mackenzie Hughes was the first to make a move and he was matched at a low of 2.1211/10 but his challenge fizzled out on the back-nine.

    PGA Tour rookie, Chandler Philips, who was matched at 1000.0999/1 before the off, and impressed as he hung around and he was matched at a low of 4.03/1 but pre-event 34.033/1 chance, Cameron Young, and huge outsider, Peter Malnati, were the two to separate themselves from the rest with just three holes to play.


    Young comes up short once more

    The market favoured Young, and he was matched at a low of 1.261/4 but after pars at 16 and 17, the first two holes of the infamous Snake Pit, he hit a poor drive on 18, just as Malnati stiffed his tee-shot on the par three 17th to just six feet.

    Malnati drained the birdie putt moments before Young three-putted for bogey at 18 and that was that.

    He drove into a fairway bunker off the tee on 18 but found the green with ease before two-putting for a two-stroke victory, his second on the PGA Tour and his first in almost 10 years!

    Malnati was matched at between 500.0499/1 and 1000.0999/1 before the off, but the bulk of the pre-event cash was placed at around 650.0649/1 and he's the latest huge outsider to win in what has been a strange year on the PGA Tour.

    His interview afterwards was a joy to watch and you could really see just how hard the last decade had been for the 36-year-old but it was impossible not to feel at least some sympathy for the nearly man of the PGA Tour, Young, who has now finished runner-up seven times!


    Deere Run form holds up again

    Although the winner had poor form at Deere Run, home of the John Deere Classic, the pre-event 460.0459/1 chance, Ryan Moore, finished tied for fifth, having been matched at a low of 9.617/2, and he was looking for his first victory since he won the John Deere Classic in 2016. The runner-up, Young, had led last year's JDC by two strokes at halfawy, so the link was boosted again.


    Svensson gets off the mark in extra time

    South Africa's Ockie Strydom won the inaugural edition of the Singapore Classic last year having trailed by four strokes with a round to go and this year's renewal looked set up for an off the pace winner too.

    The leaders all looked vulnerable ahead of the fourth and final round and that proved to be the case.

    David Micheluzzi, who had led by a stroke after 54 holes, was still in front at the turn but back-to-back double-bogeys at 11 and 12 ended his challenge and after a pair of bogeys at 10 and 11. Andy Sullivan, who had begun the final round trailing by a stroke in a tie for second, was always up against it on the back-nine.

    Micheluzzi eventually finished tied for seventh and Sullivan solo fourth.

    Sam Bairstow, who had started the day alongside Sullivan, recovered nicely from a slow start but a bogey at 16, after three consecutive birdies, stopped him in his tracks and he had to settle for third when he missed an eagle putt on the 72nd hole.

    The pre-event 70.069/1 chance, Jesper Svensson, who was matched in-running at a high of 420.0419/1, had begun the final round trailing by five in a tie for 13th but he started like a man possessed, birdying the first two and eagling the third.

    After two more birdies at six and eight, the 27-year-old Swede made back-to-back bogeys around the turn, but he got straight back on track with birdies at 12 and 13 and another eagle at 14 and when he birdied 17 and 18 to tie the course record, he was matched at just 1.11/10 to win his first DP World Tour event.

    Sitting in the clubhouse, two clear of the rest, the Swede's lead looked comfortable enough but after birdies at 14, 15 and 16, and a ridiculous par save on 17, pre-event 90.089/1 chance, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, produced this bit of magic on the 72nd hole.

    The pair both birdied the 18th in extra time at the first attempt and Aphibarnrat was matched at a low of 1.564/7 after they'd teed off there the second time.

    The Thai hit a great drive to the left fairway after Svensson had found a fairway bunker but minutes later, the Swede was matched at just 1.071/14.

    He found the green from the bunker as Aphibarnrat missed the green long, and when the Thai's third shot, from below the putting surface, didn't quite make it to the green, the Swede looked highly likely to seal the deal, but long odds-on backers had to wait to collect when both men made par.

    The event was finally decided on the third extra hole (18 again) when Aphibarnrat's third shot from below the front of the green flew through to the dell at the back of the green.

    Jesper Svensson wins the Singapore Classic.jpg

    He failed to get up-and down for par from a very tricky spot and Svensson two-putted for par and his first DP World Tour title.


    Read my Houston Open preview here


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