Adri Arnaus (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Arnaus wins Catalunya Championship after six-hole playoff

Adri Arnaus defeated Oliver Bekker in a marathon six-hole play-off to win his first DP World Tour title at the 2022 Catalunya Championship in Spain.

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 11 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 play-off in seven months after defeats at the 2021 Acciona Open de España and March’s MyGolfLife Open.

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.

Canter finished two shots out of the play-off alongside Richard McEvoy and Adrian Meronk, with Hennie du Plessis and 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. Victory took him to sixth in the European money list and 52nd in the world – a new career high.

Arnaus, who graduated from the Challenge Tour at the end of 2018, said: “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been looking for this one for a while, so to be able to make my breakthrough here, where I practice in the summer, is really special.
By so far back, today was just about trying to go as low as possible and see what others would do.

“I was totally calm going into the play-off and I’m just delighted for myself, my team, and my friends and family, that I was able to get the job done. We edging closer to the world’s top 50 now, and I feel like that’s a very achievable target now.”

Adri Arnaus’s Winning Gear
Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond (9.5°)
Fairway wood: Callaway Epic Speed (15°)
Utility: Callaway X-Forged UT (18°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro (4), Callaway Apex MB (5-9)
Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (46°, 50°, 55°, 60°)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro V-Line
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X