Valimaki earns maiden win while Fleetwood and Westwood impress again
Sami Valimaki claimed a maiden European Tour title at the Oman Open in just his sixth start after a play-off victory against South Africa’s Brandon Stone.
Even more impressive is the fact the Finn was sitting outside the top 100 on the leaderboard after the first round at Al Mouj Golf, but turned his fortunes around with a following 64 on Friday.
A par at the third time of asking in the play-off was enough for Valimaki to defeat Stone, cuing fantastic celebrations on the 18th green from the latest European Tour winner and his fellow Finnish golfers.
Although the win only moves the 21-year-old up to 41st on the European Points List, with 522.5 points, Valimaki is certainly a name to look out for.
The Finn, who was only doing his national service in the Finnish army some 18 months ago, also had a stunning 2019 on the Pro Golf Tour where he won four times, three of which came in consecutive starts.
Elsewhere, Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood continued their strong starts to the season as they finished inside the top five at The Honda Classic – a PGA Tour event.
Fleetwood was leading by one heading into the final round but needed a birdie down the last to tie South Korea’s Sungjae Im.
However, the Englishman found the water with his approach to the last and ultimately finished two back.
Ten-time Ryder Cup Europe player Westwood finished in a tie for fourth place, not only continuing his strong 2020 form, but also jumping back into the automatic places on the World Points List.
Four-time Ryder Cup winner Luke Donald also rolled back the years to finish in a tie for 11th place.
There was no change in the top four players on the European Points Lists, with Fleetwood leading the way with 3,927.41 points, followed by Jon Rahm (3,747.50), Rory McIlroy (2,679.44) and Victor Perez (2,669.95).
Danny Willet (88.19), Matthew Fitzpatrick (82.20), Westwood (79.38), Tyrrell Hatton (78.55) and Bernd Wiesberger (73.75) make up the five players currently qualifying on the World Points List.