John Catlin shot a final-round 65 and then overcame Maximilian Kieffer in a playoff to claim victory at the 2021 Austrian Golf Open.
The win was the American’s third European Tour title in his last 13 starts, and is expected to crack the world top 80 this evening.
“I’d love to crack that top 50 in the world,” said Catlin. “Just get a chance to play in some major championships – I’ve actually never played in a major.
“I’m thinking this gives me a very good chance to play in the US PGA Championship, that was kind of my goal.
“Hopefully it’s good enough and to get into those events and to have the chance to win a major, that’s been my goal since I was a kid.
“Winning is never easy, it doesn’t matter what tour you’re playing on and to have gotten this one is definitely something special.”
Catlin entered the Sunday’s finale at Diamond Country Club – located just outside of Vienna, two off the pace of overnight leaders Martin Kaymer (70) and Alejandro Canizares (74).
But as Kaymer and Canizares struggled to open their final rounds, the race for first came down to Catlin and Kieffer, who was playing in the final group alongside the 54-hole co-leaders.
Kieffer came out of the gate sizzling, producing four birdies and an eagle to move 14 under through seven holes, four shots clear of Catlin, who himself opened with three early birdies. But the 30-year old German cooled off considerably, finishing his final 11 holes on even par, while Catlin chased him down with four additional birdies.
Both men had good opportunities for victory as the first four trips back up 18 were halved (par-par-birdie-par) but Kieffer found the water three times on the fifth go-round, handing Catlin the crown despite a bogey 4.
Kieffer’s countryman, Kaymer, finished three shots out of the playoff at 11 under, three clear of Dutchman Wil Besseling (67), England’s Marcus Armitage (68) and South African Garrick Higgo (68).
2021 Austrian Golf Open
Top-5 Leaders: Final Round
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 4)
1. John Catlin -14 (-7)
2. Max Kieffer -14 (-6)
3. Martin Kaymer -11 (-2)
4. Wil Besseling -8 (-5)
4. Marcus Armitage -8 (-4)
4. Garrick Higgo -8 (-4)
Material from the European Tour Media & Communications was used to compile report.