Keeping Score

Finland’s Sami Valimaki wins Oman Open

In only 6th career start on European Tour, Valimaki outlasts Brandon Stone in 3-hole playoff for 1st career victory

6: Number of starts on the European Tour that Sami Valimaki needed before posting his first career victory, on Sunday at the Oman Open. Valimaki, 21, of Finland, sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd second hole to tie South African’s Brandon Stone, who had holed a 20-foot birdie of his own, to force a playoff at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat, Oman. After matching pars on the first two extra trips around the par-4 18th hole, Stone failed to get up and down for par as Valimaki made a routine 4 for the victory. Both shot 2-under 70s in the final round and tied at 13-under 275. Valimaki won four times last year on the developmental Pro Golf Tour before qualifying for the European Tour via Q-School. After a tie for seventh at the recent ISPS Handa Vic Open, he entered the week at No. 372 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Italian Lorenzo Gagli, who with countryman Edoardo Molinari was reinstated to the tournament field Thursday after having been banned because of fears about exposure to coronavirus, closed with a final-round 68 to tie for 10th. Molinari tied for 50th (scores).

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