Caldwell struggles as Adri Arnaus claims Catalunya Championship

Adam McKendry
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Caldwell struggles as Adri Arnaus claims Catalunya Championship

Adri Arnaus of Spain poses with the trophy after winning the Catalunya Championship at Stadium Course, PGA Catalunya Golf and Wellness on May 01, 2022 in Girona, Spain. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

A disappointing weekend performance in Spain saw Jonathan Caldwell finish well down the leaderboard at the Catalunya Championship as Adri Arnaus delighted the home fans by finishing as a local winner.

Clandeboye man Caldwell carded consecutive rounds of 75 at the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya to finish the tournament at six-over-par and 71st on the leaderboard, last place of those made the cut.

Meanwhile, only a week after Pablo Larrazabal’s success on home soil at the ISPS Handa Championship, Arnaus did likewise in Catalunya as he first produced an outstanding final round 65 to force a play-off with South Africa’s Oliver Bekker, and then triumphed in a thrilling showdown.

For Caldwell, it was another difficult finish on a run that hasn’t seen him finish better than 30th on the DP World Tour since his victory at the Scandinavian Mixed last June, although he has been plagued by injuries in that stretch.
On this occasion, a fine one-under 71 in his second round had put him into the weekend, but he wasn’t able to capitalise on that momentum and slipped away in the latter half of the tournament.

Sunday’s round in particular where he was always playing from behind, a bogey at the par-five third immediately dropping him over par and then a double-bogey at the par-four sixth compounded that.

His only two birdies of the day came at the two par-fives on the back-nine, the 12th and 15th, but those came in between bogeys at the two par-threes, the 11th and 16th, to leave him propping up the standings at six-over-par for the tournament.

It was a better week for Arnaus, who came from the middle of the pack to secure a thrilling first victory on the DP World Tour as he defeated overnight leader Bekker in a play-off at PGA Catalunya.

The Spaniard recorded five birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free seven-under 65 to set the clubhouse mark at 11-under, which looked like it would be bettered by Bekker, who started the day at 11-under and played his front-nine in one-under, but a late bogey at the 16th dropped him back and into a tie.

And after halving the first five play-off holes in par – all of which were on the 18th – the first time they reverted to 17th for the sixth play-off hole, Arnaus triumphed with yet another par as Bekker failed to get up-and-down from the edge of the green.

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