x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Victorious Stricker is in top 10

The American Steve Stricker and unknown Frenchman Christian Cavaer enjoyed memorable weekends by winning when it mattered the most for them.

The American Steve Stricker and unknown Frenchman Christian Cavaer enjoyed memorable weekends by winning when it mattered the most for them. While Stricker held his nerve in a play-off at the Colonial Open tournament in Texas, Cevaer came out a surprise victor of the European Open in trying conditions that tested some big names. Stricker's triumph saw him move up from 13th to eighth in the world while Cavaer made a massive jump from 449th to 129th.

Stricker won on the second extra hole to lift the Crowne Plaza Invitational after a three-way play-off on Sunday. He came up with a birdie at the crucial moment to pip Steve Marino and Tim Clark; the latter led by two shots with five holes of his final round to play. The South African had gone into the fourth round with a two-shot lead and looked set for his first PGA Tour victory. But, after bogeying the 14th, he dropped another shot on the last for a level-par 70. That put him level with Stricker and Marino, who both shot 68s, at 17 under.

Clark had his chance again at the first extra hole but he missed a short putt and saw his luck take a turn for the worse at the second when his approach hit the flag and rolled away. A missed birdie chance opened the door for Stricker. It was the seventh time Clark has finished as a runner-up on the PGA Tour, and the second time in as many years at the Texas tournament. Australian Jason Day finished fourth after a final-round 69 while new world No 3 Paul Casey followed up his BMW PGA Championship triumph with fifth place.

The Englishman birdied his first three holes on the way to a four-under-par 66 - his third of the tournament - for a final score of 15 under. * PA