After all those birdies he piled up over four rounds to take the lead at the Russian Open, all David Horsey really needed was a par to win it.
Horsey parred the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against Ireland’s Damien McGrane, who bogeyed it, to give the 29-year-old Englishman his first European Tour title in more than three years.
Horsey won despite recording a worse score on each progressive day of the tournament, finishing Sunday with an even-par 72 and the tournament at 13-under.
McGrane sprinted up from sixth place with a blazing 6-under 66 on Sunday to force the playoff, but his bogey on No. 18 kept him from winning the title outright.
Prior to that, he had birdied 15, 16 and 17. Horsey looked like he was in major trouble when he double bogeyed No. 12 and bogeyed No. 14 to sit at 3-over with four holes to play, but he birdied No. 15 and made an eagle 3 on No. 17 to fight back to even par and force the playoff.
Over the course of four days, Horsey was 5-under on No. 17.
It was nearly a three-man playoff, as Scotland’s Scott Jamieson finished a stroke back at 12-under. Jamieson had seven birdies on the day, but four bogeys as well, the most costly coming at No. 17.
Day Three co-leader Peter Whiteford took a nose dive with a 3-over 75 that saw him drop to fifth place at 10-under. After amassing six birdies and an eagle on Saturday, he managed just one birdie on Sunday, that coming on the 17th hole.