Richie Ramsay returns to form with victory at Trophee Hassan II

Scotland`s Richie Ramsay overcame a bumpy front nine before striking back with three straight birdies as he won the Trophee Hassan II tournament on Sunday by one stroke for his third European Tour victory.

AFP| Updated: Mar 29, 2015, 23:26 PM IST
Richie Ramsay returns to form with victory at Trophee Hassan II

Agadir: Scotland`s Richie Ramsay overcame a bumpy front nine before striking back with three straight birdies as he won the Trophee Hassan II tournament on Sunday by one stroke for his third European Tour victory.

A final round of 69, on the picturesque par-72 Golf de Palais Royal layout in Agadir, left Ramsay on 10-under and one shot clear of Frenchman and fellow overnight leader Romain Wattel.

It was a glorious return to form for the 31-year-old from Aberdeen after missing the cut in four of his five starts this season.

He began the final round as one of three men in front with Wattel and Scotland`s Andrew McArthur with a group of seven players just one shot back on six under.

Wattel moved within a shot of the Scot with a birdie at the relatively easy par-5 17th but couldn`t muster the birdie he needed to force a playoff when he couldn`t chip in from the fringe on the 18th green.

Wattel was looking for his first European Tour victory but settles for a morale-boosting runner-up finish.

It appeared a third victory, to follow previous triumphs in 2009 at the South African Open and European Masters in 2012, had slipped away from Ramsay when he dropped three shots at eight and nine where he made bogey-double bogey allowing Wattel to take the outright lead.

But he refound his putting touch early on the inward turn with three consecutive birdies at 12, 13 and 14 to catch and then overtake the 24-year-old from Montpellier and never looked back.

Steady golf down the stretch, with four straight pars to close, and the fact that none of the challengers, apart from Wattel, were able to mount a serious challenge left Ramsay to savour a fine victory.

A group of six players finished on eight under and two shots back including Englishman Chris Wood, who shot a 67, Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, Swede Mickael Lundberg, South African duo George Coetzee and Jaco Van Zyl as well as Irishman Kevin Phelan.

McArthur endured a difficult final day and slumped home with a three over 75 to slide down the leaderboard into a tie for 34th.

Spanish veteran Jose Maria Olazabal, 49, who won the Ryder Cup both as a player and captain and also won the Masters` twice, finished strongly with a blistering 66 to finish in a tie for ninth at seven under with four other players.