Dunne leads Irish as wonderful Wang wins in Morocco

Dunne leads Irish as wonderful Wang wins in Morocco
 Korea's Jeunghun Wang. Picture: Getty Image

Korea's Jeunghun Wang. Picture: Getty Image

Sunday was an expensive day for the Irish but it was a profitable one for Korea’s Jeunghun Wang as he holed three remarkable putts on the 18th green to see off Nacho Elvira in a play-off on a dramatic final day at the Trophée Hassan II.

The Korean holed an 18-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole to sign for a round of 70 and force a play-off with Elvira, who had also birdied the last to set the clubhouse target on five under par. 

The Spaniard then looked to be in control on the first extra hole when he reached the par five 18th in two, but Wang holed a monstrous putt for birdie and then, when the pair replayed the hole, again converted from 20 feet to clinch the title.

The finish was a fitting conclusion to a thrilling final day when the lead changed hands regularly, with driving rain and a testing Royal Golf Dar Es Salam layout producing a war of attrition. 

Overnight leader Chris Hanson fell away after a double bogey at the eighth, giving Clément Berardo the chance to stake his claim for victory. 

But when the young Frenchman dropped three shots in four holes on the back nine the door opened for Robert Rock, only for the Englishman’s charge to be derailed by back-to-back bogeys from the 15th. 

That left the path clear for Wang and Elvira, and it was the Korean who prevailed to follow in the footsteps of his friend and compatriot Soomin Lee, who recently won the Shenzhen International.  

Fittingly, as his surname means “King” in Korean, Wang received the trophy – a jewelled dagger – from His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rashid of Morocco.

Elvira’s runner-up finish was the best of his European Tour career, whilst Rock (70) and Berardo (73) shared third place on four under par. 

Hanson’s closing round of 75 saw the Englishman fall back into a tie for fifth place with Italian Nino Bertasio on three under par. 

Paul Dunne was the best of the Irish with his fifth birdie of the day at the 18th making up somewhat for seven bogeys, four of which came in the last six holes.

A 74 left Dunne tied for 16th on three over and prize money of €19,125 — his sixth cheque from eight starts this season — lifting him to 102nd in the Race to Dubai with €95,625.

Peter Lawrie slipped to tied 43rd on seven over after a 78 and earned €8,400 to 194th in the money list.

As for Gary Hurley and Kevin Phelan, the West Waterford man shot 74 to share 47th on eight over and earn €6,600 — his first European Tour cheque.

Phelan shot 76 to share 59th on 10 over and pick up €4,125 for 221st in the Race to Dubai.

Jeunghun Wang

“I can’t remember the last three holes, I’m so excited right now that I don’t think I’m going to sleep much tonight! It’s an amazing feeling. 

“I knew I needed to make birdie after Nacho’s great shot in the play-off, and I hit quite a good shot in there but it was still a long putt. It was a similar putt to the one I holed on the 18th the first time, so I just hit it on the same line and luckily for me it went in. My hands were shaking so much, I could barely hold the putter, so I’m amazed the putts went in. I’m so happy. 

“Soomin [Lee] is a very good friend of mine. I watched him win and sent him congratulations afterwards. Now I hope he was watching me and will send me congratulations! 

“I will play in Mauritius, and then I will speak with my team and we will try to work out my schedule. This win gets me into so many big tournaments, so I’m really excited to play against some of the best players in the world. It’s a dream come true to play on The European Tour.” 

Nacho Elvira

“It’s tough to take, but I have no regrets. I tried my best, and I’m proud of myself. It was such a tough day, you had to concentrate so hard on every single shot. You always have to do that anyway, but especially in those conditions. It was raining hard for 13 holes, but I was very happy with the way I handled myself.”

Robert Rock

“I played well, the plan was always to try to get to five under and then consolidate. I did the first part well, but not the second part.

"The wedge shot on 15 went too far, and then the eight iron into the 16th didn’t go far enough. So that was the difference between finishing third and winning, or at least getting into the play-off. So it’s frustrating, especially as I also shaved the edge of the hole on the 17th. 

“It’s sometimes difficult to see the positives straight after you’ve just missed out on winning, but there are some great tournaments coming up so it’ll be nice to go into them knowing my game is in pretty decent shape.”

Final Round Scores

283 J Wang (Kor) 71 68 74 70, N Elvira  (Esp) 71 71 72 69, 

284 C Berardo (Fra) 70 73 68 73, R Rock (Eng) 74 70 70 70, 

285 C Hanson (Eng) 72 71 67 75, N Bertasio (Ita) 72 72 71 70, 

286 D Dixon (Eng) 73 71 67 75, 

287 K Mueck (Aus) 72 70 73 72, J Lima  (Por) 72 70 73 72, 

288 J White (Eng) 73 69 70 76, J Scrivener (Aus) 68 71 75 74, R Parater (Ita) 70 76 69 73, 

289 C Shinkwin (Eng) 74 69 73 73, 

290 D Burmeister (RSA) 71 74 71 74, M Nixon (Eng) 75 72 70 73, 

291 A Saddier (Fra) 69 72 73 77, J Senior (Eng) 72 70 75 74, Paul Dunne (Irl) 72 76 69 74, N Marsh  (Eng) 73 72 73 73, S Benson (Eng) 72 71 72 76, J Carlsson (Swe) 75 72 76 68, 

292 A Otaegui  (Esp) 74 70 76 72, M Orrin (Eng) 71 75 71 75, E Goya (Arg) 69 75 70 78, M Manassero (Ita) 72 73 75 72, L Jensen (Den) 71 74 74 73, M Southgate  (Eng) 72 73 71 76, F Laporta (Ita) 68 70 76 78, O Fisher  (Eng) 74 70 72 76, M Korhonen (Fin) 70 73 71 78, 

293 D Frittelli (RSA) 72 75 70 76, A Johnston (Eng) 70 74 76 73, B Vierte Astudillo (Esp) 69 70 76 78, 

294 C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 72 70 73 79, T Sinnott (Aus) 75 72 75 72, A Wall (Eng) 75 71 73 75, B Hebert  (Fra) 76 72 72 74, A Levy (Fra) 71 75 71 77, S Henry  (Sao) 71 71 73 79, S Webster (Eng) 74 72 74 74, T Linard (Fra) 68 77 75 74, A Cañizares  (Esp) 71 72 76 75, 

295 Peter Lawrie (Irl) 71 69 77 78, D Brooks (Eng) 77 71 70 77, T Lewis (Eng) 71 75 75 74, B Åkesson (Swe) 73 73 71 78, 

296 D Im (USA) 71 69 77 79, Gary Hurley (Irl) 71 76 75 74, R McEvoy  (Eng) 73 71 74 78, G King (Eng) 71 70 75 80, S Griffiths (Eng) 74 74 74 74, S Gros (Fra) 77 70 76 73, Z Lombard  (RSA) 70 70 77 79, E Molinari  (Ita) 76 72 75 73, 

297 M Lorenzo-Vera  (Fra) 69 76 75 77, A Quiros  (Esp) 75 71 73 78, R Jacquelin (Fra) 73 73 75 76, B Eccles (Aus) 70 75 77 75, 

298 D Papadatos (Aus) 72 74 71 81, Kevin Phelan (Irl) 70 74 78 76, G Bourdy (Fra) 74 74 74 76, S Kapur (Ind) 72 73 79 74, 

299 C Doak (Sco) 72 73 78 76, F Serghini  (Mar) 71 72 76 80, R Fox (Nzl) 74 74 76 75, T Pilkadaris (Aus) 76 72 72 79, J Knutzon (USA) 74 74 75 76, P Gustafsson (Swe) 72 76 74 77, L Nemecz (Aut) 77 67 74 81, S Manley (Wal) 77 71 77 74, 

301 T Muto (Jpn) 71 75 76 79, C Bouniol (Fra) 76 72 78 75, 

302 P Peterson (USA) 71 72 78 81, 

303 J Hugo  (RSA) 76 72 77 78, 

306 Y El Hassani (Mar) 69 79 83 75