England's Simon Dyson sank a nerve-jangling eight footer for par at the last to lift the US$400,000 Volvo China Open by one stroke today and became only the third man to secure two consecutive wins on the Davidoff Tour.
The 22-year-old Dyson, who won the Macau Open last week for his maiden professional victory, provided a miraculous and dramatic finish by saving par at the 18th par five hole at Shanghai Silport Golf Club despite a penalty stroke after landing in the water hazard with a wayward drive. With his hands trembling as he faced a testing putt for victory and the US$72,000 winner's cheque, Dyson courageously rolled in the last shot of the tournament to pip India's Jyoti Randhawa for the title.
The Yorkshireman finished the day on one-under-par 71 for a tournament total of 13- under-par 275 while Randhawa, the Indian Open winner, settled for second place after a gallant charge with a superb bogey-free 67 in the final round for his 276 aggregate.
Dyson said: "I can't believe it. It's a good feeling and I can't put it to words. They say the first is special but this one feels so great because the Volvo China Open is a big event in Asia. It's just fantastic to win two-in-a-row. That last putt for victory is the most pressure-packed one that I've had to face in my career. When I was cleaning the ball, my hands were trembling. I told myself to keep the stroke smooth and not to leave it at the jaw because that would have been devastating. I'm glad it rolled in.
When I called home to relay the news, my mum just burst into tears." Taking a three shot lead into the final day, Dyson, who played in the victorious Walker Cup team for Great Britain and Ireland last year before joining the paid ranks, got into full flight with a birdie at the first hole. He bogeyed the sixth by landing in the water hazard but bounced back superbly with three birdies on the trot for an outward 33. But it soon became a roller-coaster ride, with three bogeys, and a birdie in his next six holes.
Randhawa, playing three flights ahead, turned on the pressure with a front nine 32 and finished the tournament on 12-under-par, just one behind Dyson who was then at the 17th. The Englishman missed the 17th par three green but made a crucial up-and-down to hang on to his one-shot advantage. More drama came when he blocked his tee shot into the water at the last but he recovered brilliantly with his best shot of the tournament by firing a five wood from 246 yards out that landed on the fringe behind the pin. Dyson left his fourth short of the flag but sealed a historic triumph with the nervy putt.
"I haven't been hitting the five wood that great this week and I knew it owed me one. Considering the pressure and situation then, it was my best shot this week," said Dyson.
Randhawa, who pocketed US$44,520, said: "I had birdie chances at the 15th, 16th and 18th but I'll take second anytime. It could have happened for me today but it didn't."
Volvo also announced that the event would return to Shanghai Silport for a third successive year in 2001. Volvo Event Management president and chief executive officer Mel Pyatt said: "I'm absolutely delighted that we are returning to Silport next year. The club owner Beta Soong has the same passionate values about quality as Volvo has in all its product."
Leading final scores
275: Simon Dyson (Eng) 66-69-69-71
276: Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 69-68-72-67
278: Ahmad Bateman (Usa) 67-71-69-71
279: Jim Rutledge (Can) 70-69-70-70, Zhang Lian-wei (Chn) 70-70-71-68, Christian Pena (Usa) 65-72-75-67
280: Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) 71-67-70-72
281: Felix Casas (Phi) 65-74-74-68
282: Andrew Pitts (Usa) 69-71-69-73, Boonchu Ruangkit (Tha) 70-72-69-71
283: Tsai Chi-Huang (Tpe) 71-68-70-74, Mike Cunning (Usa) 71-71-73-68, Lu Wen-Teh (Tpe) 69-72-74-68
284: Greg Hanrahan (Usa) 69-71-73-71, Eric Meeks (Usa) 67-78-70-69
285: Andrew Bonhomme (Aus) 71-68-73-73, Daisuke Maruyama (Jpn) 73-69-73-70, Kenny Druce (Aus) 70-70-72-73, Adrian Percey (Aus) 71-72-69-73, John Kernohan (Usa) 71-75-70-69