Dundee-based Victor Perez claims Dutch Open title after four-hole play-off

Victor Perez hailed "a bit of magic" after defying the odds to beat Ryan Fox on the fourth hole of a sudden-death play-off to win the Dutch Open.

Victor Perez celebrates with the trophy after winning a four hole play-off against Ryan Fox of New Zealand to clinch the Dutch Open at Bernardus Golf. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Victor Perez celebrates with the trophy after winning a four hole play-off against Ryan Fox of New Zealand to clinch the Dutch Open at Bernardus Golf. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Fox looked certain to win in regulation when he chipped in for a birdie on the 11th, holed from 80 feet for an eagle on the 12th and then holed from 45 feet for birdie on the 14th to establish a three-shot lead.

However, the 35-year-old New Zealander drove into a water hazard on the 18th, missed the green with his approach and duffed his fourth shot into a greenside bunker to run up a double-bogey seven.

Playing two groups behind, Perez holed from 35 feet for birdie on the 17th to move into a share of the lead on 13 under par and hit a superb approach into the last, but missed from seven feet for a winning birdie.

The players returned to the par-five 18th and the Dundee-based Frenchman had to hole from 15 feet to match Fox's birdie on the first extra hole, with neither player able to make birdie at the second attempt.

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Fox again had one hand on the trophy on the third extra hole when he found the green in two and set up a tap-in birdie, only for Perez to hole from 30 feet to stay alive.

And Perez then rubbed more salt into the wound when the action switched to the par-three 17th, the Frenchman holing another long-range putt for birdie before a shellshocked Fox missed his.

"There's a fair amount of fortune, I've got to be honest with myself, holing all those long putts in the play-off," Perez told Sky Sports.

"It's hard to put into words because it's a long day and Ryan was flying for a while. We didn't even really think we had a chance.

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"Coming down 16 I knew I probably had to birdie the last three and James (his caddie) told me don't look up at the leaderboard. I holed the putt on 17 and the play-off was just a bit of magic.”

Perez, Fox and Adrian Meronk - who finished a shot outside the play-off - secured the three places on offer at St Andrews for the 150th Open Championship via the Open qualifying series.

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