Horsey wins Trophee Hassan II in playoff

David Horsey of England won a three-man playoff to earn his second European Tour title on Sunday, taking the Trophee Hassan II after hitting a hole in one during the final round.

Horsey was one shot ahead of defending champion Rhys Davies of Wales and two clear of Dutch golfer Jaco Van Zyl with one hole to play, only to be forced into the playoff after double-bogeying the last.

All three players parred the first extra hole and Horsey won on the second with a birdie.

”I’m relieved more than anything,” Horsey said. ”I made hard work of that coming down the last.”

Horsey had a perfect start to the day with a hole in one at the second hole, taking the lead after being tied with Davies overnight.

Like Davies, Horsey shot a 3-under 69 in the final round while Van Zyl hit a 68. All three finished on 13-under 274.

”It is not very often that you get off to a start like that on the last day of a tournament, especially when you are in a position to win,” Horsey said. ”Obviously there is a certain amount of luck involved in a hole in one, but it really set me up for the rest of the day.”

Horsey became the fourth Englishman to win the event, after Peter Townsend (1978), Martin Gates (1994) and Roger Chapman (2000).

Davies missed an easy putt on the last hole that would have given him the victory.

”I couldn’t believe Rhys missed that putt to win, to be honest,” Horsey said. ”If we had been playing match play I would have given him that putt because he is one of the best putters in the world.”

Thomas Bjorn of Denmark set a course-record 62 to finish at 6 under in 15th place.

”I played well even with a bogey and a three putt,” the former Ryder Cup star said. ”It was just one of those days when I holed my fair share of putts and never made any big mistakes. (I) hit 17 greens in regulation.”