Catlin wins again! | Asian Tour

Catlin wins again!

Published on April 19, 2021

American John Catlin, a four-time winner on the Asian Tour, continued his remarkable rise in the game by claiming the Austrian Golf Open on Sunday – his third victory on the European Tour in just eight months.

The 30-year-old Californian prevailed after a thrilling sudden-death play-off against German Maximilian Kieffer, which lasted five holes over the par-three 18th at Diamond Country Club, near Vienna.

The German found the water, that guards the front of the green on 18, three times on the fifth play-off hole to hand victory to Catlin.

They had finished the tournament tied on 14 under, after Catlin closed with a seven-under 65 and Kieffer, chasing his first win on the European Tour, a 66.

Catlin and Kieffer congratulate each other after the play-off. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Catlin took the Asian Tour by storm in recent years – he triumphed three times in 2018 and once in 2019, plus claimed two titles on the Asian Development Tour – and is now intensifying his reputation as a clutch putter and closer in Europe.

His victory makes it three wins in his last 13 starts and moves him into the top 25 on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.

He will also break into the top-100 on the Official World Golf Ranking – which will be updated later today.

“I’d love to crack that top-50 in the world,” he said. “Just to get a chance to play in some Major Championships – I’ve actually never played in a Major. I’m thinking this gives me a very good chance to play in the US PGA Championship, that was kind of my goal.

“Hopefully it’s good enough and to get into those events and to have the chance to win a Major, that’s been my goal since I was a kid.

Catlin plays his tee shot on the second. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

“Winning is never easy, it doesn’t matter what tour you’re playing on and to have gotten this one is definitely something special.”

They had a birdie chance each on the first two play-off holes and Kieffer holed a 30 footer on the third to pile on the pressure but Catlin also made his birdie from a third of the distance.

A stunning bunker shot helped Catlin save par on the fourth trip up the 18th before Kieffer found water once from the tee and twice from the drop zone to make the result a formality despite Catlin finding sand again.

“It’s always tough to watch that happen,” Catlin added. “We’re out here giving it our all, he’s obviously a very, very accomplished player and to come out on top is something I will always cherish.”

Kieffer said: “Standing here I feel like I’m only going to get better. Sometimes it doesn’t happen that way, you never know in golf, but I’m confident about the game and I felt good.

“Every shot on the play-off felt good too but the last shot was a bit stupid, I got a bit too aggressive.”

Germany’ s Martin Kaymer, winless since the 2014 US Open, continued his comeback by claiming third place outright. The two-time Major champion finished three shots short of the play-off.