Luiten wins rain-shortened Johor Open|
Johor, Malaysia (Sports Network) - Joost Luiten of The Netherlands fired a
six-under 65 on Sunday to come from behind and win the weather-shortened Johor
Luiten finished at 15-under 198 and earned his first European Tour title by
just a stroke at Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club.
Weather problems plagued the event all week and when heavy rain wouldn't allow
for much play on Saturday, officials cut the event to three rounds.
"I knew at the beginning of the week that it will be raining season here so it
didn't really bother me," said the 25-year-old Luiten. "You just need to relax
when the delay comes and accept it. You can't let it get to you or it will
affect your round."
Daniel Chopra was ahead by two when the horn sounded on Saturday, but his 70
in the final round left him one short. He was looking for his first European
Tour title, but settled for runner-up.
Defending champion Padraig Harrington (69), Rhys Davies (65) and James
Morrison (69) shared third place at minus-13.
Gregory Bourdy managed a 70 and took sixth at 12-under 201, while Soren
Kjeldsen carded a four-under 67 to come in seventh at 11-under par.
Luiten birdied three in a row from the second, but still trailed Chopra. That
all changed when Chopra double-bogeyed the seventh hole. Luiten was one behind
until a birdie at the eighth tied him for first.
Luiten birdied the ninth to move into sole possession of the lead. He birdied
No. 11 for the second straight round and he was two in front on the second
No players made any serious charges on the back until Chopra late. Harrington
got within two and holed a 10-foot par save at 15 to stay close. He had a 10-
foot look at the 17th to claw within one, but couldn't convert.
Luiten continued to play steady. He narrowly missed birdie chances at the 15th
and 16th. He parred the par-five closing hole, then waited to see if anyone
could catch him.
Harrington and Chopra both needed eagles at the last to force a possible
The defending champion ended his own chance when he nearly found water at the
Chopra gave himself a great chance to get into sudden-death. He knocked his
second to 20 feet at the par-five finisher, but his eagle putt to tie stayed
That gave Luiten his first European Tour title.
"Well it is always tough to get your first tour win and you'll always believe
that you'll get a good one," said Luiten. "I've come close for a few times and
I'm really relieved to finally win and looking for the next one."
Luiten finished fifth last week in Singapore and had three straight top 10s
earlier in the fall.
Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen (67), Fredrik Andersson Hed
(68), Darren Beck (68), Marcus Fraser (69) and Jose Manuel Lara (69) shared
eighth at 10-under 203.
NOTES: Luiten, who wears two gloves for a better grip, became the fourth Dutch
champion on the European Tour and first since Robert-Jan Derksen at the 2005
Madeira Islands Open...This was the first year this event was part of the
European Tour schedule...The European Tour returns next week for the South
African Open, where Ernie Els captured the title last year. Players will also
be in China for the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup, where Edoardo and Francesco
Molinari of Italy won in 2009.
11/20 01:33:41 ET