Robin soars to Shootout Sunday victory at NI Open

August 13, 2017
2017 NI Open Champion: France's Robin Sciot-Siegrist (Photo: Matt Mackay/PressEye)

2017 NI Open Champion: France’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist with Modest! directors Mark McDonnell and Niall Horan (Photo: Matt Mackay/PressEye)

Robin Sciot-Siegrist came through 30 holes of golf – plus a shootout play-off hole – to claim a maiden European Challenge Tour title at the Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf.

A dramatic final day, nicknamed ‘Shootout Sunday,’ was a series of six hole head-to-head stroke play matches, with the left-handed Sciot-Siegrist coming through five rounds to win, ultimately defeating Alessandro Tadini by two strokes in the final at Galgorm Castle.

The Frenchman – whose mother hails from Dublin, further endearing him to the crowds – now moves up to eighth place in the Road to Oman Rankings and he was delighted to have made this breakthrough just a year after he turned professional.

“It’s amazing,” said the 23 year old. “It’s my first full season as a pro so I am so happy because I’ve been working really hard this winter and holding this trophy, I don’t know how to describe it, it’s just pure joy.

“The format is great. Six holes, you have to be really in it from the very beginning, you don’t have a chance to make any mistakes, and it’s great to change the format from what we usually play and I really enjoyed it.

“It was a tough week because five rounds of six holes, a lot of great players, I’m just really proud because I’ve been working really hard for it and now I have a week’s break, now it will be a good break too.

“I played seven tournaments last year on the Challenge Tour last year so, even though this is my first full year, I knew what the level was. Winning was something that was in my goals so I’m really happy to have done that – it’s obviously difficult, but it feels really good.

“I thought it was a fun event and I hope that in the future it will happen again – it’s unbelievable how many people are here this week, everything is full, the grandstands, it’s incredible how these crowds come out in Northern Ireland.”

Sciot-Siegrist’s golf was different class on a day of relentless drama in front of packed grandstands in Ballymena, with more than 55,000 people having registered for tickets in a record-breaking event with an attendance of 43,495 over the week.

He beat compatriot Thomas Linard in the first round before taking down Tom Murray – who had been seeded into the second round – with a phenomenal eagle on the final hole, overturning a one-shot deficit in the process.

A nervy quarter-final against Lukas Nemecz, where his one over par total for six holes was one shot better than his opponent, led to a dramatic semi-final against Christian Braeunig.

Sciot-Siegrist led by one playing the last hole before his German opponent chipped in for eagle, leaving the eventual winner with a nerve-jangling birdie putt to force an extra hole.

He duly holed it and, on the short play-off hole, put his tee shot to six foot for a birdie putt he would make; Braeunig’s tee shot was even closer but his putt lipped out and Sciot-Siegrist advanced.

The champion fittingly saved his best golf for the final, a high quality contest against Tadini, who had beaten Daan Huizing, Matthias Schwab and Bradley Neil to reach the final two.

Sciot-Siegrist had makeable birdie putts on five of the six holes, converting three of them, including on the final hole, for a deserved victory.

Braeunig beat Neil for a career-best finish of third with Nemecz fifth, Ross Kellett sixth, Schwab seventh and Ricardo Santos – who came from behind in his second round match to win courtesy of an outrageous albatross on the final hole – completing the top eight.

Report courtesy of the European Tour

-ENDS

SHOOOUT SUNDAY RESULTS 

Final Standings (scores from first 54 stroke play holes):

207 R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 70 69 68,

205 A Tadini (Ita) 71 66 68,

207 C Braeunig (Ger) 70 68 69,

204 B Neil (Sco) 68 70 66,

203 L Nemecz (Aut) 68 67 68, R Kellett (Sco) 68 66 69,

202 M Schwab (Aut) 67 71 64,

207 R Santos (Por) 66 74 67,

203 V Riu (Fra) 67 69 67,

204 T Murray (Eng) 67 67 70,

205 N Geyger (Chi) 69 68 68,

206 D Law (Sco) 69 69 68,

207 J Winther (Den) 73 69 65, S Einhaus (Ger) 72 68 67, D Huizing (Ned) 67 72 68, E Goya (Arg) 72 66 69,

206 C Sharvin (Nir) 68 72 66,

207 A Chesters (Eng) 71 70 66, M Rohwer (RSA) 68 73 66, J Lando Casanova (Fra) 68 70 69, M Nixon (Eng) 67 69 71, T Linard (Fra) 67 69 71,

208 M Trappel (Aut) 73 68 67, M Orrin (Eng) 69 69 70, J Kunzenbacher (Ger) 69 71 68, W Besseling (Ned) 70 69 69, S Brown (Eng) 69 69 70,

209 R Saxton (Ned) 71 69 69, A Pavan (Ita) 69 69 71, R Finch (Eng) 72 69 68, B Poke (Den) 75 65 69, N McCarthy (Eng) 66 71 72, L Gagli (Ita) 70 70 69,

210 P Maddy (Eng) 67 72 71, D Van Driel (Ned) 69 67 74, D McGrane (Irl) 68 72 70, E Cuartero Blanco (Esp) 71 65 74, C Griffiths (Eng) 70 69 71, C Sordet (Fra) 73 69 68, J Dantorp (Swe) 71 71 68, J Carlota (Por) 68 73 69, J Hansen (Den) 73 69 68, J Maw (Eng) 69 73 68, S Henry (Sco) 70 69 71,

211 R Hjelm (Den) 72 69 70, C Ford (Eng) 69 72 70, K Phelan (Irl) 70 72 69, M Laskey (Wal) 68 70 73, E Johansen (Nor) 72 68 71, J Girrbach (Sui) 68 72 71, J Doherty (Sco) 70 71 70, J Rutherford (Eng) 72 68 71, J Parry (Eng) 72 68 71, M Hoey (Nir) 69 72 70, M Fenasse (Fra) 74 66 71,

212 C Koepka (USA) 71 69 72, M Ovesen (Den) 70 71 71, M Haastrup (Den) 71 70 71, N O’Briain (Irl) 70 70 72, J Harrison (Eng) 68 74 70, G Porteous (Eng) 70 72 70,

213 B Rusch (Sui) 69 73 71, R McCarthy (Aus) 71 68 74, A Dalgliesh (Eng) 75 67 71,

214 S Thornton (Irl) 68 72 74,

215 C Blomstrand (Swe) 70 72 73, M Ford (Eng) 72 70 73, G King (Eng) 66 76 73, C Gane (Eng) 70 72 73,

217 R Gonzalez (Arg) 70 70 77, J Van Der Vaart (Ned) 70 68 79,

220 J Allan (Eng) 70 72 78, N Ravano (Ita) 69 71 80