In a weather-delayed weekend, it was Matthew Baldwin who claimed the SDC Championship in commanding fashion, as the Englishman fired final rounds of 65 and 68 to pick up a first DP World Tour title.
Returning to the course after play was suspended on Saturday, Baldwin had been four shots back of the leaders going into the weekend. However, after he birdied the fifth, sixth, 10th and 13th, he found himself in a share of lead as he came back to St Francis Links on Sunday.
Having closed his third round with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th, the 37-year-old held a comfortable lead as the final round got underway. A stop-start day can make it difficult to keep any momentum going but, for Baldwin, that was not the case, with a birdie at the first hole and a huge par save on the third putting him four shots ahead.
If anyone was going to catch him, they would need a huge final round charge. However, with only Adri Arnaus making a move, he never looked like challenging Baldwin and, with back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth, it was now a six shot lead making it the Englishman’s to lose.
A blip on the 11th did lead to a bogey but, like all good champions, he made another set of back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th to extend the lead to seven with just four holes remaining.
Cantering to the finish, Baldwin was in the zone and, even though he found a tricky lie in a greenside bunker on the 15th, he produced a stunning up-and-down to save par.
With pars at the 16th and 17th, it was a moment to savour as he walked down the 18th hole and, as he rolled in the par putt, Baldwin secured his first DP World Tour title in his 200th DP World Tour start!
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