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Aust's Brazel wins 1st European Tour title

Associated Press logo Associated Press 11/12/2016

Unheralded Australian Sam Brazel has birdied the 18th hole to narrowly edge Rafa Cabrera-Bello and win the Hong Kong Open, his first title on the European Tour.

Ranked 480th in the world, Brazel plays on the Asian Tour and had never had a top-10 European Tour finish before.

The win on Sunday gives him automatic entry into European Tour events for the next two years.

"I'd love to come over to Europe. It would be a great privilege," an emotional Brazel said.

"It feels amazing. I'm speechless. What a win. I feel very privileged to be playing here first of all and then ecstatic to win. As far as where this takes me obviously, I might be playing a few more events in Europe next year and we'll see where that takes me."

Brazel and Cabrera-Bello started the round level at 11 under, but the Australian sank three consecutive birdies on the back nine to take the lead, and then made his birdie putt on the final hole to nudge the Spaniard for the title.

"Rafa is a great fellow to play with. Plays very nicely. Got a great golf game I think he got unlucky a couple of times," Brazel said.

I didn't really feel like it was a battle between the two of us. I was just trying to have fun, I was trying to enjoy moment and enjoy the experience of it all."

Brazel shot a 68 for an overall total of 13-under 267, while Cabrera-Bello, who had a double bogey on the par-three eighth hole, shot a 69 and finished a stroke back.

"It's just a little disappointing today. I managed to start good again but then struggle half way through the front nine. Battled back really hard again, same as yesterday but then Sam just played a fantastic 18th hole," Cabrera-Bello said.

Andrew Dodt of Australia shot a final-round 66 to tie for third with Tommy Fleetwood of England (68), two shots off the leader.

US Masters champion Danny Willett finished sixth two further strokes behind.

David Lipsky of the US carded a 68 to finish in fourth place at 10 under for the tournament.

Defending champion and Rio Olympic Golf medallist Justin Rose tied for 36th spot with a final-round 69 for a 278 overall.

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