Samooja sets course record to win European Open

WINSEN, Germany (AP) — Kalle Samooja finished with back-to-back birdies and shot a course-record 8-under 64 to win the European Open on Sunday.

It was his first title on the European tour.

The 34-year-old Finn’s eight birdies in the final round — including three in the last four holes — left him 6-under 282 overall as he overturned a seven-shot deficit and secured a spot at the U.S. Open.

Samooja finished two shots ahead of second-place Wil Besseling of the Netherlands (71), who had four birdies along with a double bogey and a bogey.

“It’s been a long journey, been close a few times,” Samooja told Sky Sports. “We were pretty sure it’s going to be a playoff or that we might even miss the playoff. I was just hoping to get a solo second and get a ticket to the U.S. Open but this is a little better.”

Overnight leader Victor Perez, who was seeking back-to-back victories after winning the Dutch Open last week, carded a 2-over 74 at Green Eagle Golf Courses. He birdied the 10th and 11th to move into a share of the lead, only to bogey three of the next four holes. The Frenchman tied for third with England’s Richard Mansell (70), three shots behind Samooja.

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