Friday, March 07, 2014

A Victor in February

Victor Dubuisson gained worldwide acclaim by sensationally extending his WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship final duel with Jason Day to five additional holes, and the Frenchman has received a further tribute by being named The 2014 Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month for February. Dubuisson, who receives an engraved alms dish and a Jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, won the 17th hole with a birdie and the 18th with a stunning save from a greenside bunker to force a sudden death finish, then halved each of the first two extra holes with astounding recoveries from the desert before finally losing at the 23rd hole to 25 year old Australian Day. Sir Nick Faldo said: “I saw Seve (Ballesteros) pull off some belters, but nothing as good as those from Victor. They were truly amazing, and a privilege to witness.” The 23 year old, who captured his maiden European Tour title in the Turkish Airlines Open presented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism 2013 last November, is the third recipient in the 30th anniversary year of an award given to the European Tour Member judged to have produced the outstanding performance in each calendar month throughout the season. Dubuisson said: “It is a very nice award to win. It feels amazing. I couldn’t believe even a few months ago that I would be winning something like this. I hope I will prove that I can do it again, and maybe win Golfer of the Month another time. “Hopefully this is the start of something big for me. It was a big performance for me in Arizona and helped really improve my world ranking. I’m still a little disappointed not to have won the final, but I’m sure there will be plenty more opportunities to win more tournaments.” The European Tour Golfer of the Month Panel, comprising members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from television and radio, focused their attention on winning and exceptional performances in The Race to Dubai on The European Tour International Schedule – South Africans George Coetzee (Joburg Open) and Thomas Aitken (Africa Open) and England’s Ross Fisher (Tshwane Open) all claimed titles in February – while also taking into account events worldwide. James Haddock, Golf Reporter for Sky Sports, said: “The calm and measured way Victor went about playing his golf – in his first WGC event – was impressive enough, but the manner of his two amazing shots from the scrubland in extra holes of the final were invention, risk taking and sheer genius all rolled up together.“The measure of just how good those miracle shots were was supported by the sheer number of players praising him for showcasing European Tour talent and revitalising memories of the great Seve Ballesteros. In fact, even Seve’s son tweeted: ‘I think I have a new hero.’ Who am I to argue?” Michael Harris, Editor of Golf Monthly, said: “Although Victor just missed out on the WGC title, he defeated a trio of Major champions and entertained golf fans with his attacking golf, feats of escapology and smiling, positive approach.” Spain’s Miguel Angel Jiménez and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, winners of the December and January awards respectively, and Dubuisson will all be considered with the next nine monthly winners for The 2014 European Tour Golfer of the Year Award, which was won in 2013 by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson following his DP World Tour Championship, Dubai triumph which secured the Number One spot in The Race to Dubai.


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