ISPS Handa World Invitational: Dan Brown secures five-shot win as Alexa Pano claims epic playoff

Daniel Brown finished five shots clear of Alex Fitzpatrick to claim his DP World Tour victory. Alexa Pano beat Esther Henseleit and Gabriella Cowley in a play-off to win the women’s event in Northern Ireland

18:26, United Kingdom, Sunday 20 August 2023

Daniel Brown secured a maiden DP World Tour title with an impressive five-shot victory at the ISPS Handa World Invitational.

Brown overcame an early swing and mid-round bogeys to post a one-under 69 at Galgorm Castle, one of two courses used in an event sanctioned by the DP World Tour, the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour, for to end the week on the 15th under.

Alex Fitzpatrick claimed second place on 10, ahead of Eddie Pepperell, who finished eight strokes back, while Alexa Pano – on her 19th birthday – clinched the women’s title after a dramatic third-over play-off victory hole.

Brown took a six-shot lead into the final day of men’s action in Northern Ireland but gave the chasers hope when he followed a three-shot bogey in the first by dropping a shot in the third, only to sell out in the first quarter. fifth and trigger his tap-in range approach to add another to the next.

He followed up with a front nine 34 on the par-five 10th, only to see his lead cut to three when he bogeyed each of his next three holes.

Daniel Brown completed a convincing win at the ISPS Handa World Invitational

Brown regained control of the tournament when he drained a 25-foot birdie at the 14th and made another from the same distance at the next, then birdied another on his penultimate hole to seal an emphatic victory.

“It’s amazing,” Brown said. “I could never have dreamed this in the last few years, as many years. I don’t think it’s broken.”

Fitzpatrick combined five birdies with three birdies to post a final-round 68 and record the best finish of his career so far, with Pepperell a further three strokes back in third place at seven under.

Ryder Cup contender Adrian Otaegui closed out the final day with a 72-2-over, dropping him to a share of fourth place, with Wilco Nienaber, Marcus Helligkilde, John Parry and Scotland’s Connor Syme also finishing on five under .

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Pano qualifies for dramatic playoffs

Pano secured her maiden LPGA Tour title with a dramatic playoff victory as Gabriella Cowley narrowly missed out on victory after birdying her way through extra holes.

Cowley produced an eagle-birdie finish to post a final-round 70 and move to eight under along with Henseleit and Pano, who bogeyed her final two holes to card a six-under 66.

The players returned to the 18th for a playoff, where Henseleit was eliminated with a par as both players birdied her, while Cowley appeared to have the advantage on the second playoff hole when Pano was forced to tee off. trees.

Cowley three-putted from long distance, including a chipped birdie putt from within four feet, to match Panos, before sealing victory for the Americans with a two-foot birdie on the next play-off hole.

Gabriella Cowley failed to make a relatively simple birdie chance on the second play-off hole as Alexa Pano won the ISPS Handa World Invitational at Cowley’s expense.

“I’ve been saying for about two months that I really wanted to win this event because it’s on my birthday and it feels so surreal that it happened,” Pano said.

Ryann O’Toole finished a stroke ahead of Olivia Cowan in fourth, while pre-tournament favorites Georgia Hall and Leona Maguire finished a share of 16th.

What’s next?

The DP World Tour heads to Prague next for the D+D Real Czech Masters, which starts on Thursday, with the event being the penultimate tournament to earn qualifying points for Europe’s next Ryder Cup team. On the LPGA Tour, the CPKC Women’s Open in Canada is the final qualifying event for Team USA’s Solheim Cup team.

European Solheim Cup captain Suzann Pettersen will name her six selections live on Tuesday from 4pm on Sky Sports Golf. See the best golf and more for £26 a month for 12 months with NOW.

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