The chance for a LIV Golf player to win a DP World Tour event has been a long time coming. However, I don’t think many would have backed Adrian Otaegui to become the first man to do so.
The Spaniard has opened up a six-shot lead heading into the final round of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters in Valderrama.
Teeing off in a share of the lead Otaegui, who already boasts three DP World Tour wins, carded a seven-under 64 to move to sixteen-under-par after three closing birdies saw him pull away from the field.
LIV players have been seen dotted around some high profile DP World Tour leaderboards with the likes of Patrick Reed and Talor Gooch threatening the upper echelons at Wentworth while a large cohort took up spots at the Alfred Dunhill Links a fortnight ago.
Reed raised a few alarm bells with an early Sunday charge at Wentworth but it didn’t stand the test of time as Shane Lowry held off Rory McIlroy. But in Otaegui, we could have one that stays the course.
LIV has an event on the MENA Tour this week as their season rounds down but Otaegui has opted to tee it up on home soil again and he might well be rewarded.
A potential win would cause controversy as it would move him into the top-10 on the Race to Dubai with the top-10 not already exempt at the end of the season earning PGA Tour cards.
The 29-year-old is enjoying one of his best seasons in Europe. Currently ranked 24th in the Race to Dubai with a brace of top-13 finishes in France and Wentworth either side of a top-25 finish in Italy, so he certainly benefited from LIV players being allowed play on the DP World Tour.
And it looks like he could reap the rewards of this little loophole and claim his fourth DP World Tour win and first in two years.
“I’m very happy, everything went perfectly today. I putted well, I felt very comfortable. The crowds were pushing amazingly, so that was unbelievable.
“I had a very good start with a nice birdie on the second and then three birdies in a row at four, five, six and that gave me a bit of momentum.
“I felt good on the course, tried to enjoy it, tried to stay focused. I missed a couple of birdie putts at the beginning of the front nine but finished with three good birdies.”
Otaegui leads fellow Spaniard Angel Hidalgo and Sweden’s Jaokim Lagergren with Min Woo Lee in fourth place on nine-under-par.
Italian Open champion Robert MacIntyre is in solo fifth on seven-under.