Australian Open: Joaquin Niemann beats Rikuya Hoshino in play-off

Joaquin Niemann plays a shot during the play-off at the Australian Open
Joaquin Niemann made six birdies and a bogey to card 66 and finish on 14 under in Sydney

Chilean Joaquin Niemann beat Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino in a play-off to win the Australian Open for the first time.

The pair finished level on 14 under par after 72 holes and both birdied the 18th to send the sudden-death play-off to a second hole.

Niemann, 25, then bettered Hoshino’s birdie with an eagle to claim victory at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.

The champion admitted his “putting hasn’t been the best” recently and that he had been “working hard on it”.

“It was nice to make that last putt,” the former world number 15 added.

“I always practise those three, four, five-feet ones and know that one of those will be to win a tournament. It’s amazing.”

Winning his maiden DP World Tour title has now given two-time US PGA Tour winner Niemann, who joined the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series last year, an exemption to next year’s Open.

Also on Sunday, Ashleigh Buhai successfully defended her women’s title with a one-shot victory over Australia’s Minjee Lee.

South Africa’s Buhai, who won the Women’s Open in 2022, held off a late charge by fellow major winner Lee to become the first back-to-back champion since Yani Tseng in 2011.

The 34-year-old carded a three-over-par 75 to end at nine-under for the tournament.

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