John Catlin won the Andalucia Masters of the European Tour, ending 21 years of trophy-thirsty American golfers on the par71 pitch that hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup.
Catlin, born in 1990, won the Andalucia Masters in Valderrama with +2 on September 6. This is the first time a European Tour event has recorded an “over par” champion since the 2016 Spanish Open at the same venue.
Catlin grew up in Sacramento, California. He won four titles in the Asian Tour and was only played part-time in the European Tour.
Before Catlin, the closest American golfer to win this Valderamara golf course was Tiger Woods in 1999. At that time, “Super Tiger” was crowned American Express Championship in the World Golf Championship group. Woods defeats Miguel Angel Jimenez in the side hole, taking a million dollars in a $5 million prize fund.
The final round of the Andalucia Masters
In the final round of the Andalucia Masters, Catlin cleared the birdies in the 75-club scorecard but still won with a difference of a stick against 37-year-old heavyweight candidate Martin Kaymer – the owner of two major in three PGA Tour titles and 11 European Tour trophies.
Before the coronation, Catlin and Kaymer competed for the second half of the round. The German Golfer had two chances to collect birdies within three meters of holes 16 and 17 to get ahead of his opponents, but he missed both times.
Last week, Kaymer also finished second in the UK Championship of the European men’s arena at The Belfry – the former Ryder Cup battlefield.
For the past six weeks, Catlin has been fighting a series of six European Tour events that are zoned across the UK. But after the first three unsuccessful turns, he was eliminated in the English Championship from August 6-9 for leaving the property to have dinner with a caddy.
The following week, he returned to play and finished T6 at the Celtic Classic and then out of the top 20 finalists in both the Wales Open and UK Championship in the second half of August.