Spanish golfer Adrian Otaegui has done it against all odds. The 29-year-old created history as the LIV rebel golfer won the Andalucia Masters on Sunday. This was the first time since the inception of the Saudi-backed league, a PGA Tour golfer who had competed in the controversial league is now a winner on the DP World Tour.
At Valderrama, Otaegui held a six-shot lead entering the final round and never looked like being caught. In the end, Otaegui shot a three-under 68 to finish on 19-under, six shots ahead of Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren in second.
Otaegui was one of three athletes reinstated to the Genesis Scottish Open field in July after contesting their suspensions for participating in the inaugural LIV competition in Hertfordshire.
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Adrian Otaegui was barred by Scottish Open earlier this year
Earlier this year, the Scottish Open barred DP World Tour members who played on Saudi-funded rebel circuits without permission and fined them £100,000 each.
Otaegui, Ian Poulter, and Justin Harding’s suspensions were temporarily stayed after a hearing before Sport Resolutions (UK), pending the outcome of their substantive appeals. The hearing will now take place in February 2023.
After the win, the 29-year-old was delighted with his performance and said that he tried to remain focused throughout the Championship.
“I think that was a very big risk that I didn’t want to take,” he said. “I just tried to play my game. I tried to play like if I just teed off being square and just tried to beat the others just today. Just tried to stay focused and play every hole with the same intensity.”
“The whole week the crowds were absolutely amazing, especially yesterday and today. The scenery was amazing with all the narrow fairways, all the cork trees, all the spectators and all the kids – just unbelievable,” he added.
In the DP World Tour rankings, Otaegui moved up from 14th to 10th with this sensational win. He has now secured a berth in the season finale of the tour in Dubai, where he will attempt to catch up to top-ranked Rory McIlroy, who has publicly expressed his displeasure over LIV golfers continuing to compete in DP World Tour events.
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