Sami Valimaki wins maiden European Tour title in Oman Open play-off
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 01/03/20 7:48pm
Sami Valimaki snatched a maiden European Tour title after defeating Brandon Stone in a play-off at the Oman Open.
Valimaki holed a 20-foot birdie at the last to close a two-under 70 at Al Mouj Golf and join Stone on 13 under, before beating the South African with a par at the third extra hole.
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A penultimate-hole bogey saw Adrien Saddier finish a shot off the pace in third ahead of Guido Migliozzi and Mikko Korhonen, while England's Jordan Smith ended four strokes back in tied-sixth.
"It's awesome," Valimaki said. "There are not many words to say, it's unbelievable. After the ninth hole when I made a double I knew that the 10th hole is good and I had to make a birdie on that.
"I didn't make a really good par on 11 and after that bogey I felt like, 'okay this is gone'. But then I just grinded, made three birdies and on the last, an awesome birdie."
Starting the day in a six-way tie for the lead, Valimaki rolled in an eight-footer at the second and bounced back from a blemish at the fourth by birdieing the par-five seventh and adding another from 12 feet at the next.
Valimaki racked up a double-bogey at the ninth after finding a bunker with his approach and then flying his third shot over the green, only to bounce back with a ten-foot gain at the tenth.
The Finn bogeyed the next and cancelled out a birdie at the 12th with a blemish at the 14th, before getting up and down from off the 16th green and picking up a shot at the last to extend the contest.
After making par on the first two play-off holes, Stone failed to get up and down from near the 18th grandstand and made bogey to allow Valimaki to secure victory with a three-foot par.
Saddier mixed six birdies with three bogeys to finish in third spot, while George Coetzee posted two eagles on his way to a closing 66 to share sixth spot with Smith, Alejandro Canizares and Rasmus Hojgaard.