Brazel breaks through in Hong Kong


Sam Brazel was a shock winner of the Hong Kong Open, the world number 480 birdieing the last to claim his maiden European Tour title on an absorbing final day of action in Fanling.

Brazel began Sunday's fourth round tied for the lead with Rafael Cabrera Bello, but both men stumbled on the outward nine to leave the tournament wide open.

Masters champion Danny Willett, who looked to have slipped out of contention on Saturday with a one-over 71, hit the front when he rolled in his fifth birdie of the day on 13 to reach 10 under.

Yet when Willett then bogeyed the 17th, he was one of six leaders, along with Brazel, Cabrera Bello, Tommy Fleetwood, Andrew Dodt and David Lipsky.

The latter five all picked up shots on the way home, meaning Willett had to settle for sixth following a par on 18, but it was Brazel who finished the strongest.

Three successive gains from the 11th were followed by his impressive three at the last - only the second birdie on the closing hole on Sunday - and ensured the Australian finished one clear of Cabrera Bello at 13 under, with Dodt and Fleetwood sharing third a shot further back.

"It's bloody great, I tell ya," said Brazel after completing his tournament-clinching 68. "It's been a long time coming, but I'm stoked."

Brazel's approach to the 18th left a birdie putt of around eight feet, but he offered a surprising answer when asked if it was the best shot of his career.

"I wouldn't say I got it out of the middle, but I'm pretty stoked [with] where it finished," said the 37-year-old with a smile.