Tom McKibbin rounded off his SDC Championship on a positive note as he secured his fifth top-20 finish of his rookie DP World Tour season while Matthew Baldwin notched his maiden DP World Tour win at the 200th time of asking.
McKibbin carded a final round of 69 and it was almost bogey free until a dropped shot on the 17th.
A damaging third round of 72 put the 20-year-old out of contention for the title but it didn’t stop him giving it his best and he started his final round quickly with two birdies in his first three holes.
Further birdies followed on 13 and 16 which took McKibbin into a share of 18th place on six-under-par, twelve shots shy of Baldwin who cantered to a seven shot win.
Baldwin (-18) was in inspired form on the final day, carding a four-under 68 to cruise to the title, with Spain’s Adri Arnaus a distant second place on eleven-under-par.
Baldwin has been on a rollercoaster journey to this point, including having his 2015 season curtailed through illness before losing his DP World Tour card in 2016. Having jumped between the Challenge and DP World Tours in recent years he regained his full card last season via the Road to Mallorca.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure what’s just happened! It’s been a tough few years, so obviously to get the win means absolutely everything.
“I can’t process it right now but it just means the world to me.”
Having grown up around Royal Birkdale, St Francis Links suited the Englishman down to the ground.
“It’s been windy all week, it’s that sort of golf course. Fortunately for me I’ve grown up playing in Southport at Hesketh and Royal Birkdale, so I’m pretty good in the wind and it’s worked out a treat for me.
“Obviously I’d like to thank St. Francis Links, the golf course has been fantastic this week; the DP World Tour for putting on superb events, as do the Sunshine Tour – they always welcome us down here.”
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