Sam Horsfield was fighting back the tears as he won a thrilling final round battle with Kiwi Ryan Fox to claim his third DP World Tour title at the Soudal Open in Belgium.
The 25-year-old from Manchester found himself three shots behind Fox after eight holes on Sunday at Rinkven International GC in Antwerp, but showed his mettle on the back nine, clinching a two-shot victory with a winning score of 13 under par courtesy of a closing 68.
Horsfield’s third victory, following his wins at the Hero Open and Celtic Classic in 2020, comes just two weeks into his return from a three-month injury lay-off. And the 25-year-old, who had his girlfriend, Isabella Byron, on the bag this week, was emotional as he completed a fourth round which contained four birdies and a single bogey.
Fox finished in a tie for second on 11 under par alongside German Yannik Paul, with Chase Hanna and Oliver Bekker another shot further back.
Horsfield said: “I was trying not to cry while I was over that little tap-in on the 18th. Having Issi on the bag this week has been amazing. We just had fun all week, having a blast out there, chatting about everything that we could chat about and hitting some golf shots in between. Golf almost got in the way, which helped settle my nerves.
“Mick [Seaborn], my regular caddie, is not here, so I wanted to do it for him, and I’m just so, so happy I was able to. I pulled a few clubs on the back nine that he definitely would have wanted me to hit. Making that birdie on 12, straight after I had bogeyed 11, was a huge turning point. I think Ryan bogeyed the next hole, and we were all square from there. And then we had a huge putt on 17, and then just made par up 18 for the win.”
Horsfield, who rose to a new career high world ranking of 64 with the win, added: “I feel like I have been playing really well recently, but I haven’t been able to put four rounds together, but this week I was able to do that. It certainly puts me in good shape heading to the PGA Championship next week. I’m really looking forward to it and the rest of the summer ahead.”
For the full scores and leaderboard from the Soudal Open, click here.