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Catlin beats Kieffer in playoff to win Austrian Open

(Reuters) – American John Catlin claimed his third European Tour title in eight months after defeating Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer in an exhilarating playoff battle on the Austrian Open on Sunday.

Catlin completed with a spherical of seven-under-par 65 at Diamond Country Club, close to Vienna, to tie for the highest spot at 14-under alongside Kieffer, who survived a mid-round hunch to card a 66.

The pair returned to the par-three 18th gap for the playoff, the place each made par on their first two makes an attempt after which exchanged birdies on the third go to.

A splendid bunker shot helped Catlin save par and keep in the competition on the fourth additional gap earlier than a bogey on the subsequent was sufficient to declare victory, as Keiffer discovered water thrice on his means to a quintuple-bogey.

Ranked 124th, Catlin is projected to break into the highest 80 for the primary time in his profession when the world rankings are up to date on Monday.

The 30-year-old is displaying no indicators of slowing down as he targets a primary main championship look this season.

“I’d love to crack that top 50 in the world,” Catlin, who gained the Irish Open and Andalucia Masters final yr, mentioned. “Just get a chance to play in some major championships – I’ve actually never played in a major.

“I’m considering this offers me an excellent likelihood to play in the U.S. PGA Championship, that was form of my objective.

“Winning is never easy, it doesn’t matter what tour you’re playing on and to have gotten this one is definitely something special.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, enhancing by Pritha Sarkar)

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