DP World Tour
May 2nd, 2022
Arnaus seals play-off triumph at Catalunya Championship
Spaniard prevails in six hole playoff on home soil
Photography: Getty Images
The home favourite started the day seven shots off the lead and did not look a likely winner when he turned in 34, with Bekker and Laurie Canter doing battle at the top of the leaderboard at PGA Catalunya Golf and Wellness.
But he came home in 31 with the help of an eagle on the 12th to set the target at eleven-under and was left to watch Bekker, who still had a one-shot lead as Arnaus was signing his card, finish his round.
A three-putt from the South African on the 16th made it a tie as he signed for a 72 and Arnaus was heading to a third DP World Tour play-off in seven months after defeats at the 2021 Acciona Open de España presented by Madrid and March's MyGolfLife Open hosted by Pecanwood.
The five trips back up the last produced reasonably stress-free pars all-round but when they moved to the 17th for the sixth extra hole, Bekker missed the green and could not get up and down, allowing Arnaus to take the title with a par after putting his approach to six feet.
"It’s a dream come true. I’ve been looking for this one for a while," said Arnaus.
"To be able to come through here, where I practice in the summers, they take care of me so well. I know the course quite well. I’ve been able to play some really good golf and to do it here is special."
Canter finished two shots out of the play-off alongside fellow Englishman Richard McEvoy and Pole Adrian Meronk, with South African Hennie du Plessis and Italy's Edoardo Molinari at eight-under.
Arnaus came into the week with five runner-up finishes on Tour - two of them on home soil - but now has a win in his 84th start and makes it back-to-back Spanish victories for the first time since 2017 after Pablo Larrazábal's triumph at last week's ISPS Handa Championship in Spain.
He also moves up to sixth on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex and could move into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time.