Brian Davis won his second European Tour title yesterday with a dramatic one-point victory over Paul Casey, the defending champion, at the ANZ Championship. The 29-year-old, whose only previous victory on the European Tour came at the Open de Espana in 2000, sank 10 birdies in a scintillating round of 65 at Horizons Golf Resort in Port Stephens, New South Wales.
Davis was playing deliberately aggressive golf and limited his bogeys to just three for a modified stableford score of 17 points that lifted him into the lead with 44. He then sat back and watched as Casey missed an eagle putt on the last to finish second with 43 and the overnight leader, Steve Webster, implode on the 18th in desperate search of the eagle he needed for the title. After three days, the experience of leading into the final day for the first time seemed to get to Webster, who only remained part of the leading pack courtesy of an eagle on the ninth. Otherwise, he had managed only one birdie but six bogeys before reaching the 18th on 40 points, only one better than when he teed off.
Nevertheless, a five-point eagle would have won him his first European Tour title but he drove his first out of bounds left and the provisional into the water. He ended with a double-bogey, sacrificed third place to finish tied for fifth and with that, Davis was champion.
"My main goal was just to go out and make as many birdies as I could and see where I finished," David said. "I have had a rough few weeks and have not really been performing so to do what I did this weekend is unbelievable. I am over the moon.
"I came close to a win last year - Freddie Jacobson chipped in three times at the Portuguese Open to push me into second. I came close a few times and felt like I could have won. But it wasn't me making mistakes, more like people grabbing it. That is the difference today, I went and grabbed it.
"I can't putt any better than that. Gary Evans, my room-mate, helped me out on the putting green last night. He gave me a couple of little tips and today I rolled the ball beautiful. Today it caught fire and I gave myself a great chance."