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John Catlin wins third European Tour title after defeating Max Kieffer in five-hole Austrian Open playoff


John Catlin’s third European Tour title in eight months didn’t come easily. In fact it took five extra holes against Maximilian Kieffer at the Austrian Open for Catlin, a 30-year-old from California, to come out on top.

Catlin played the final round at Diamond Country Club near Vienna, Austria, in 7-under 65, which was one better than Kieffer’s closing 66. Catlin was bogey-free in the final round, but Kieffer tossed in a pair of bogeys offset by an eagle at the par-5 fourth.

By the end of the day, when both were locked in at 14 under, they returned to par-3 18th for sudden death. After trading two pars, both made birdie the third time down the hole. The two both parred again on the fourth extra hole, with Catlin getting his with an up-and-down from a bunker. Finally, Kieffer found water off the tee and twice from the drop zone to allow Catlin to win with bogey.

Catlin’s European Tour resume also includes victories at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the Andalucia Masters in 2020. This 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 after finishing 35th in the season-long standings last year.

“I’d love to crack that top 50 in the world,” said Catlin, who started the week ranked No. 124 in the Official World Golf Ranking. “Just 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 U.S. 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.

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

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