(Reuters) – Finland’s claimed his maiden European Tour title on Sunday, beating Brandon Stone in a playoff to win the Oman Open in Muscat.
Valimaki and Stone finished level on 13 under par at Al Mouj Golf after both shot two-under-par 70s in the final round in difficult, breezy conditions by the coast.
The duo halved the first two playoff holes on the par-four 18th but when South African Stone faltered with a bogey on their third time around, par was enough for Valimaki to seal victory.
The 21-year-old, who secured his European Tour card at the Qualifying School, recorded his first top 10 finish at the Vic Open last month and is now a winner in only his sixth Tour appearance.
Valimaki took the lead in the final round with back-to-back birdies from the seventh hole but then found a bunker on the ninth on his way to a double bogey.
He roared back with four birdies on the back nine, including a clutch putt from 20 feet to force the extra holes with Stone.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “There are not many words to say. It’s unbelievable.
“After the ninth hole, when I made a double, I knew that the tenth hole is good and I had to make birdie on that.
“I didn’t make a really good par on 11 and after that bogey I felt like, ‘okay this is gone’. But then I just grinded, made three birdies and on the last, an awesome birdie.”
France’s Adrien Saddier took third after carding a 69 to finish on 12-under while Italian Guido Migliozzi and Finn Mikko Korhonen were a shot back to share fourth place.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman)