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John Catlin wins playoff after record breaking week

John Catlin claimed the International Series Macau presented by Wynn today after a monumental finish to the inaugural event, that saw the irrepressible American beat David Puig on the second hole of a wild sudden-death play-off.

Catlin, who shot an 11-under-par 59 on Saturday to become the first player to break 60 on the Asian Tour, backed that up today with a typically tenacious performance – which culminated in him winning after getting up and down for a birdie four on 18, after Puig missed his four from five feet.

The pair had ended the tournament tied on 23-under with Catlin shooting 65 and Puig 60, while Australian Lucas Herbert returned a 64 to finish third, two shots behind. Patrick Reed from the United States secured fourth, one stroke further back, following a 63.

This is Catlin’s fifth victory on the Asian Tour, and first since the 2019 Thailand Open – which also came after a play-off – plus first success on The International Series, and it came after an unexpectedly close finish.

Catlin had a two-stroke lead at the start of the day and put one hand on the trophy when he went out in four-under-par 30 – thanks to three birdies in a row from the fourth and another birdie on nine – for a four-shot advantage at the turn. A birdie at 10 then extended his lead to five.

However, he dropped a shot on 11 before Puig, playing four groups ahead, made a late charge. He emerged from the chasing pack and moved to within two when he birdied 12 and eagled 13, both par fives. The Spaniard then made a birdie on the 15th to sit one back before drawing level with another birdie on 16.

Catlin made a clutch eight-foot birdie putt on the par-three 14th to slide one ahead, but Puig draw level once again when he got up and down for a birdie on the par-five 18th.

On the par-three 17th, Catlin appeared to be in trouble after missing the green with his tee shot. He chipped to nine feet, but once again rose to the challenge and drained the putt, meaning he needed to birdie the last to win.

The final hole has seen birdies and eagles all week and Catlin was hot favourite to win in normal time, especially the way he was putting. However, after chipping to five feet he missed his putt for birdie to the disbelief of everyone watching.

On the first play-off hole, the tournament appeared to be going Puig’s way when Catlin’s second shot, with a fairway wood, sailed past the right side of the green and looked to be heading out of bounds. Fortunately, his ball came to rest on the road behind the main hospitality marquee and from there he was able to take a free drop.

Credit: http://asiantour.com

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