English golfer Todd Clements came through a bunched field on Sunday to win the Czech Masters for his first European tour title after shooting a bogey-free 9-under 63 to seal a one-stroke victory.
Compatriot Matt Wallace could have forced a playoff at the Albatross Golf Resort near Prague but pushed a 10-foot birdie putt wide at the last hole.
Clements, who turns 27 on Tuesday, graduated from the Challenge Tour last year and is ranked No. 394. He finished the week on 22-under 266.
He hadn’t finished in the top 20 in any previous event this season, but shot in the 60s every round at the Czech Masters.
“In the circumstances, it’s my best round of golf,” said Clements, who made three straight birdies from Numbers 1-3, 6-8, and 11-13 to be 9 under after 13 holes before parring his way home.
Clements will be inside the world’s top 200 for the first time when the ranking is updated on Monday.
Wallace shot 67 and was alone in second place, three strokes ahead of Denmark’s Nicolai Hojgaard (69).
There was a six-way tie for fourth place, including two players — Robert MacIntyre of Scotland (66) and Ludvig Aberg of Sweden (66) — who could be part of Europe’s team for the Ryder Cup next month.
MacIntyre’s high finish strengthened his spot in third place on the European points list with one event to go in qualification — the European Masters in Switzerland next week.
Aberg, a 23-year-old Swede who only turned pro in June and was playing in his first European tour event, might have done enough to convince European team captain Luke Donald to give him a wildcard pick.
Donald will announce them on September 4.
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