Brazel Claims Unlikely Title at Hong Kong
When you’re ranked 480th in the world, you don’t often think about winning tournaments filled with top 100 players, but that’s exactly what Australia’s Sam Brazel accomplished on Sunday in Hong Kong, rolling in a birdie on the 18th hole to edge Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello by a single stroke.
It was just his 17th European Tour appearance. At one point on the back nine, six different players held a share of the lead, but it was the Aussie who will turn 38 in two weeks who took the crown.
Cabrera Bello, who shot 65 and 66 on the first two days, fired birdies on 16 and 17 to tie for the lead, but when he settled for a par on 18, Brazel acted like the old pro he is and used a beautiful approach shot to set up his birdie for the win.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “I’ve been playing good. It’s just been a bit of a struggle with the old irons and my man, Adam, set me up with a new set of bats, and it’s all sort of turned around. This is the fruit. I’d love to come over to Europe. It will be a great privilege.”
The win vaulted Brazel 333 spots in the Official World Golf Rankings from 480th to 147th. He is now ranked 13th among Australians.