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An ecstatic Sam Brazel now a European Tour winner

Sam Brazel says he would "love to'' pursue his career in Europe next year (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Sam Brazel says he would “love to” pursue his career in Europe next year (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

UNHERALDED 37 year old Aussie golfer Sam Brazel had a career changing weekend in Hong Kong with his first professional win in the $US 2 million UBS Hong Kong Open.

Winless after more than 10 years as a professional golfer the New South Welshman went into the jointly sanctioned Asian Tour/European Tour event ranked 480th in the world.

He started the final round at the Hong Kong Golf Club tied with Spanish Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello. At one point there were six players in a tie for the lead on the back nine with Brazel battling a group with 11 European Tour titles between.

Under pressure on the final hole the Aussie hit a sensational mid iron approach shot over water to eight foot and then sunk the birdie putt to get to 13-under and defeat Bello by a stroke.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said an ecstatic Brazel, from Lismore on the NSW north coast.

“I’ve been playing good but it’s been a bit of a struggle with the old irons but I got set up with a new set of clubs, and it’s all sort of turned around. This is the fruit. I wouldn’t say I got the shot into the last straight out of the middle but I’m pretty stoked where it finished, I’ll tell you.”

“I think I still had some nerves on the first tee today, but I settled in pretty quickly today. It wasn’t as bad as yesterday. I had a great playing partner in Rafa. I was stoked to play with him for the last two days. It was a thrill to be out there the last few days and I hope that continues and I have a lot more days like this in the future. I am really looking forward to getting over to Europe and playing on the European Tour. It will be a great privilege.”

As well as a healthy winners’ cheque Brazel also earned a two year exemption on the European Tour. He was in the field as an Asian Tour member.

HONG KONG - DECEMBER 11:  Sam Brazel of Australia pictured during final round of the UBS Hong Kong Open 2016 at The Hong Kong Golf Club on December 11, 2016 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Arep Kulal/Getty Images)

HONG KONG – DECEMBER 11: Sam Brazel of Australia pictured during final round of the UBS Hong Kong Open 2016 at The Hong Kong Golf Club on December 11, 2016 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Arep Kulal/Getty Images)

Brazel (68) won by a stroke of Bello (69) with Australian PGA Championship runner-up Andrew Dodt (66) and England’s Tommy Fleetwood (68) tied third at 11 under, a shot clear of American David Lipsky (68) and two ahead of Masters Champion Danny Willett (66).

Olympian Marcus Fraser (66) and Jason Scrivener (70) were tied 10th with others on 6-under.

After going so close on the Gold Coast Dodt held a share of the lead through 17 holes but an errant drive cost him a shot on the final hole.

Queenslander Scott Hend the Asian Tour order of merit after his T51 finish.

Round four scores

267 S Brazel (Aus) 66 66 67 68,

268 R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 64 65 70 69,

269 T Fleetwood  (Eng) 66 68 67 68, A Dodt (Aus) 69 67 67 66,

270 D Lipsky (USA) 66 70 66 68,

271 D Willett  (Eng) 68 66 71 66,

272 P Waring  (Eng) 71 68 68 65,

273 P Larrazábal (Esp) 69 70 68 66, D Chia (Mas) 69 66 71 67,

274 M Fraser (Aus) 71 69 68 66, J Kruger (RSA) 66 72 69 67, J Scrivener (Aus) 67 69 68 70, J Campillo (Esp) 66 71 70 67,

275 C Pigem  (Esp) 68 68 71 68, S Lewton (Eng) 68 67 73 67, L Wenchong (Chn) 70 70 69 66, J Pagunsan (Phi) 67 71 68 69, D Howell (Eng) 70 70 63 72, E Molinari  (Ita) 72 68 64 71, P Uihlein  (USA) 66 70 69 70, T Jaidee (Tha) 67 68 69 71, A Da Silva (Bra) 69 71 68 67, P Angles  (Esp) 69 71 71 64, J Stalter (Fra) 70 70 66 69,

276 B Rumford (Aus) 71 68 67 70, S Gallacher (Sco) 69 70 66 71, W Ormsby (Aus) 68 72 67 69, G Bourdy (Fra) 69 68 73 66,

277 J Walters (RSA) 67 67 69 74, P Dunne (Irl) 68 69 67 73, S Lee (Kor) 72 68 64 73, T Khrongpha (Tha) 71 67 68 71, H Chien-Yao (Tpe) 69 66 74 68, P Meesawat  (Tha) 73 66 69 69, A Atwal (Ind) 70 70 66 71,

278 D Boonma (Tha) 67 71 70 70, D Im (USA) 69 67 68 74, J Smith (Eng) 66 73 70 69, J Rose (Eng) 70 69 70 69, B Hebert  (Fra) 66 70 69 73, P Pittayarat (Tha) 69 71 66 72, N Kimsey (Eng) 67 70 69 72,

279 P Reed (USA) 70 70 70 69, D Perrier (Fra) 69 68 70 72,

280 S Rahman (Ban) 67 70 70 73, P Peterson (USA) 66 68 72 74, J Fahrbring (Swe) 67 70 70 73, R Rock (Eng) 70 68 73 69, A Björk (Swe) 69 71 71 69, G Bhullar (Ind) 69 69 71 71,

281 S Hend (Aus) 69 68 70 74, M Tabuena (Phi) 69 69 71 72, T Pilkadaris (Aus) 69 69 71 72,

282 S Kapur (Ind) 68 69 68 77, M Jiménez (Esp) 69 68 72 73, C Paisley  (Eng) 69 71 67 75,

283 D Drysdale (Sco) 69 70 72 72, S Gros (Fra) 65 73 73 72, N Elvira  (Esp) 66 73 69 75,

284 J Janewattananond (Tha) 69 71 72 72,

285 I Poulter (Eng) 68 72 71 74, C Phadungsil  (Tha) 71 69 71 74, T Chuayprakong (Tha) 73 67 68 77, D Brooks (Eng) 75 65 73 72, P Tangkamolprasert (Tha) 69 71 72 73, N Srithong (Tha) 69 70 72 74,

287 N Bertasio (Ita) 67 70 71 79,

288 M Armitage (Eng) 68 71 75 74

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About Brian O'Hare

Brian is the editor and founder of ASG. He is a former Sydney journalist and is now an avid "senior" golfer. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Writers Association.

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