European Tour

SA golfer Bekker breaks into top 100 after playoff agony in Spain

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South African golfer Oliver Bekker (Getty Images)
South African golfer Oliver Bekker (Getty Images)
Octavio Passos/Getty Images
  • South African golfer Oliver Bekker has shot up the rankings following his playoff loss at the Catalunya Championship in Spain.
  • Bekker lost a six-hole playoff to Spaniard Adri Arnaus as he continues searching for his maiden DP World Tour title.
  • The South African produced his best DP World Tour finish at the PGA Catalunya Golf and Wellness.

South African golfer Oliver Bekker has broken into the top 100 of the world golf rankings after losing an enthralling playoff at the Catalunya Championship.

On Sunday, Bekker lost to home favourite Adri Arnaus in a six-hole playoff at PGA Catalunya Golf and Wellness.

Bekker signed a final round of even-par 72 to tie with Arnaus at the top of the leaderboard and force a playoff.

The duo made five trips back up the 18th and produced pars all-round, but when they moved to the 17th for the sixth extra hole, Bekker missed the green and could not get up and down, allowing Arnaus to take the title with a par.

Arnaus soared to his maiden DP World Tour title in his 84th event and made it back-to-back wins for Spain for the first time since 2017 after Pablo Larrazabal's win at last week's Handa Championship.

"It's a dream come true. I've been looking for this one for a while. To be able to come through here, where I practice in the summers, they take care of me so well," said Arnaus.

"I know the course quite well. I've been able to play some really good golf and to do it here is special."

Bekker pocketed a cool €208 750 (R3.5 million) for his second-place finish in Spain - his best finish on the DP World Tour so far.

In the official world golf rankings, Bekker jumped 23 places - from 112th to 89th - to feature as one of seven South African golfers in the top 100.

Bekker, who earned his promotion after finishing seventh on the Challenge Tour's Road to Mallorca rankings last year, searches for his maiden DP World Tour title as he moves to 16th on the DP World Tour rankings.

"Really enjoyed the challenge. Fell just short of the win this week. But lots of positives," Bekker wrote on Twitter.

Bekker will be one of 14 South Africans taking part in this week's British Masters hosted by Danny Willett at Belfry.

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