Pablo Larrazabal takes inspiration from Tiger Woods to snatch win
Spaniard birdies 18th to win Alfred Dunhill Championship by one shot as he defies blisters
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 01/12/19 8:03pm
Pablo Larrazabal admitted he used Tiger Woods as inspiration for his dramatic turnaround and narrow victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
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Larrazabal struggled with blisters on his feet and swing problems during the final round at Leopard Creek, where the Spaniard saw his three-shot overnight lead disappear inside the first five holes.
The 36-year-old struggled to the turn in 41 and was still six over for his round with four holes to play, only to birdie three of his final four holes and snatch a fifth European Tour title.
"I woke up this morning and I didn't think I was going to play," Larrazabal said. "I couldn't put my shoe on, I couldn't walk to the buggy. I couldn't go to the putting green.
"I really struggled today. For the front nine I couldn't walk and then on the back nine I suddenly thought to myself, 'If Tiger can win a US Open with a broken leg, then what is a blister?!'. I just fought hard."
Larrazabal bogeyed three of his first five holes and cancelled out a birdie at the sixth with a double-bogey at the seventh and dropped shots over his next two holes.
He removed his shoes and threw a club in frustration after a wild hook from the ninth tee, although recovered to produce a back-nine fightback to claim a one-shot win and first victory since 2015.
"If it was in another place, you know somewhere we play around the year, I probably would have given up because it was so painful," Larrazabal added.
"I couldn't go through [with it] but this place is very special to me and to win in South Africa... you know I have probably as many South African friends as Spanish friends, so this place is like my second home.
"I feel a little percentage of me is South African, so to win here is a dream come true. Now I can quit golf, I did it all."