Sam Horsfield claimed his second title in three weeks at the Celtic Classic with a four-under 67 overturning Connor Syme’s narrow lead in a weather-interrupted day at Celtic Manor.
Syme, who had led by a shot going into the final round, could only manage a par round of 71 as Horsfield had a slight wobble after a two-hour delay but adjusted to the wetter course and heavier air once play resumed.
Play ended in near darkness but Horsfield’s excellent four-under round with no bogeys was good enough for an 18-under total of 266 and a quick second UK Swing win to follow his maiden victory at the Hero Open at Forest of Arden at the beginning of the month.
“I never felt nervous this time, I guess because of what went through two weeks ago,” said Horsfield. “My aim was get through without a bogey today and I managed to do that.”
He’s now almost certain to win the mini Order of Merit for the UK Swing and has secured a place in the US Open at Winged Foot next month.
After just one bogey in the first 54 holes, Syme had his second of the week at the first, and that gave Horsfield all the early encouragement he needed, the Florida-based Englishman picking up three strokes in the first seven holes to turn a one-shot deficit into a three-stroke lead.
However the arrival of the rain and lightning threat sent everyone scurrying for cover for two hours, and when they re-emerged Syme seemed re-energised, picking up shots at the ninth and 11th to draw within one.
Horsfield’s ability to hole out whatever the situation held him out, and when the Hero Open winner holed a dead-weight birdie putt from 25 feet at the 14th, he had an advantage he was not going to lose.
Syme had to chance his arm at the short par four 14th, but after missing the green on the bank played two tricky chip shots poorly and missed an eight-foot putt for par.
A birdie putt at 17 drifted by the hole and a consolation birdie at the last in near darkness was denied him when his final putt fell short.
Strong finishes from Tom Detry meant he was second to Horsfield for the second time in three weeks, with Thomas Pieters and Andrew Johnson eventually sharing third place with Syme.