Golf

Andy Sullivan wins trip to space

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England's Paul Casey claimed his 13th European Tour title after winning the KLM Open while fellow Englishman Andy Sullivan won a trip to space.

Casey carded a final round of 66 at the Kennemer Golf Club to finish on 14-under par for the tournament, one ahead of three-time winner Simon Dyson.

Trip to space

Sullivan was a shot further back in third but was the talking point of the weekend after his hole-in-one on the 15th won him a trip into space worth $100,000.

Sullivan holed out with his nine iron on the 163-yard par three but admits he will need to speak to his girlfriend before accepting his prize.

"I'm not sure yet," said Sullivan. "I'll see what the missus says!"

The prize will be a trip in a Lynx Mark I aircraft next year and according to the company's official website, passengers undertake "a half-hour suborbital flight to 100km (330,000 feet) and then return to a landing at the take-off runway.

Altitude sickness

Ironically, Sullivan needed treatment for altitude sickness whilst competing in Switzerland during last week's European Masters but he is determined to take advantage of the opportunity despite his fears.

"I'm not great with heights or flying! I might have to pluck up some serious courage, but it is a once in a lifetime experience, so I'm going to have to do it."

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Casey went into the final day four shots off the pace, the same situation he faced during his previous victory at the Irish Open in 2013. He made the perfect start with four birdies in his opening seven holes and moved into the lead when Romain Wattel bogeyed the seventh.

Held his nerve

It was a lead that Casey held for the remaining holes needed to hold his nerve to preserve it.

He birdied the 14th and it seemed that Casey would cruise to victory but a bogey on the following hole couple with a birdie from Dyson cut the lead down to a single shot.

But the former world number three held on a finished with three solid pars to claim victory.

It was the first tournament he has played since becoming a dad two weeks ago and Casey was delighted to win such a historic tournament after taking a few weeks off after the birth of his baby.

Over the moon

Casey told Sky Sports: "I'm absolutely over the moon. First tournament as a dad, first win as a dad. This tournament has so much history, it's played in front of the best crowds we have in the world of golf, the turnout this week has been phenomenal."

Casey believes that the laid back approach adopting by himself and caddie Gary Tilston helped ease the pressure and was key to his victory.

"This is a very difficult golf course and my game plan was to have as much fun as we could. Gary (Tilston) was on the bag this week, we tried to entertain ourselves, really concentrate on every single shot but try and be relaxed and be aggressive if we could.

"The fact I threw in a few birdies early on was key, took the pressure off, and then it got tight at the end. It's a very difficult stretch coming in and I am very, very happy the way I balanced having fun on the golf course but being focused and got the job done."

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Topics:
Paul Casey
European Tour
Golf

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