European Tour Article
The Celtic Manor Wales Open

Debut Win for Khan at Wales Open

31 year old Englishman, Simon Khan won his first European Tour Event on Sunday when he birdied the second hole of a sudden death playoff against his countryman Paul Casey to clinch victory at the Celtic Manor Wales Open. The pair, who were not troubled all day by the rest of the field, completed the regulation 72 holes in 267 strokes, 21 under par.

Khan started the day three shots off Casey's lead and after 13 holes the difference remained the same with both players 3 under for the round. Over the next three holes everything changed. Khan birdied the 14th, then Casey's double bogey on the 15th put them all square. Another birdie by Khan on the 16th gave him a one shot lead but when he failed to match Casey's birdie on the 72nd hole they headed back to the 18th tee for the start of sudden death.

From watching the way that they played the first playoff hole, I can only imagine that both of them were relieved to make par and get another chance. Second time around they both found the fairway on the par five 18th.

Simon Khan with the trophy.
Photo - Getty Images

Khan's second shot came to a halt on the same sprinkler head which had obstructed his putting line just minutes before, forcing him to chip onto the green. This time he was able to take relief and putted to within three feet of the flag.

Paul Casey and Simon Khan after finishing level at the end of regulation play.
Photo - Getty Images

From the fairway, Casey slashed his wood long and right of the green, ending up in the spectators by the leaderboard. Casey failed at his first attempt to get on the green and played again from the long grass. This time he left himself a six-footer which he failed to hole for par and Khan, with all the pressure lifted, sank his birdie putt to take the title.

While all eyes were on the leading pair, Jean-Francois Remesy of France improved on Saturday's round of 66 by posting a final round 65 to take third place. His 17 under par total of 271 earned him €140,884 and moved him up to 16th place on the 2004 Volvo Order of Merit.

Jean-Francois Remesy (library photo).
Photo - Getty Images

Nick O'Hern.
Photo - Getty Images

Nick O'Hern of Australia finished off a solid week of golf with a birdie on the final hole to break out of a five way tie and claim outright fourth place. O'Hern is yet to clinch his first title on the European Tour but this was his fourth top-ten of 2004 and it would be no surprise to see him break through soon and win.

The winner, Simon Khan, entered the record books on Friday when he posted a 9 under par front nine of 27. It was only the fifth time in European Tour history the feat has been achieved. He made two more birdies on the back nine to complete a bogey-free round of 61, which also set the new course record.


Copyright Notice: All photographs on this page are reproduced under license from Getty Images and are protected by worldwide copyright laws.

Click on photographs to view the full size image in a new browser window.



Copyright 2004 - All Rights Reserved