Andrew Johnston Scores Valderrama Win
It’s been a good month for UK golfers.
One week after Danny Willett took home the green jacket at Augusta, Andrew Johnston scored the first European Tour victory of his seven-year professional career with a 1-stroke victory over The Netherlands’ Joost Luiten at the Real Club Valderrama Open de Espana, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.
Johnson’s 1-over 285 was enough for the victory as no player broke par for the tournament. Johnston did most of his damage on Thursday when he fired a 4-under 67.
Luiten and Johnston were tied for second after 54 holes, trailing France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera by a stroke; but the Frenchman slid out of consideration quickly on Sunday, bogeying five of his first seven holes. He wound up with a closing-round 75 and finished tied for sixth at 5-over.
Luiten led by two shots on Sunday after back-to-back birdies on No. 4 and 5, but Johnston matched him with birdies on 7 and 8. Johnston went ahead one stroke when Luiten bogeyed 11, but Johnston bogeyed 14 to knot the two again.
Johnston then birdied No. 116, only his fifth birdie on the back nine all weekend, to take the victory with a 1-under 70 on Sunday.
Tournament host Sergio Garcia came alive with a 4-under 67 on Sunday to finish third at 3-over. Garcia was in contention late, 4-under through 12 holes, but bogeys on 15 and 18 offset birdies on 16 and 17.
Garcia has gone more than two years since his last win on the European Tour – that coming at the 2014 Qatar Masters.