ISPS Handa World Invitational ends with a surprise winner and a playoff
The 18th hole played a big role in Sunday's final round.
Anything can happen in golf when you post a number.
Daniel Gavins, who started the day seven shots off the lead, carded a 5-under 65 in the final round of the ISPS Handa World Invitational – the tri-sanctioned event in Galgorm, Northern Ireland, this week with the European Tour, LPGA and Ladies European Tour all playing on the same course – to finish an hour ahead of the final group and post the clubhouse lead at 13 under.
After Englishmen Jordan Smith and David Horsey, Nos. 1 and 2 on the leaderboard entering the final round, each struggled down the stretch, Gavins was able to earn his first European Tour win without a playoff.
“I’m speechless, I don’t really know what to say,” said a seemingly shocked Gavins in his post-round interview, further noting, “seven shots behind I didn’t really think I was within a chance of winning, so there’s maybe a bit less pressure there.”
Lost for words & delighted
The Champion's post-round thoughts.#WorldInvitational pic.twitter.com/IdAr6fHCBq
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) August 1, 2021
Despite entering the week as No. 453 on the Official World Golf Ranking, the 30-year-old from Leeds, England, has been on a good run of form, with two top-10 finishes last month at the Italian Challenge and Euram Bank Open.
Horsey (2-over 72) finished second at 12 under, with Smith (4-over 74) T-3 at 11 under alongside Alejandro Canizares, Masahiro Kawamura and Daniel Hillier.
On the women’s side of the event, both Pajaree Anannarukarn and Emma Talley entered and finished the final round with a share of the lead, forcing a playoff that lasted two holes. Anannarukarn had a slight advantage on the second playoff hole when her third shot found the green while Talley missed right. The 22-year-old Anannarukarn finished the job with a clutch putt from nine feet to win with par.
That winning moment!
Pajaree Anannarukarn wins the @ISPSHanda @World_Inv_Golf presented by @modestgolf #RaiseOurGame | #WorldInvitational pic.twitter.com/5rtn6fx3T7
— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) August 1, 2021
Jennifer Kupcho, who also was tied for the lead to start the day, finished third at 15 under, missing the playoff by just one stroke after a bogey on the par-5 18th hole.