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South Africa's Bezuidenhout wins first EPGA title

Christiaan Bezuidenhout will now play at The Open at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland, where in 2014 at the Amateur Championship he failed a doping test that put him out of the game for nine months.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout celebrates his victory at the Andalucia Masters on 30 June 2019. Picture: @EuropeanTour/Twitter

SOTOGRANDE - Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa, who once served a ban for doping, won his first EPGA title in convincing fashion on Sunday when he triumphed in the Andalucia Masters.

Bezuidenhout, 25, finished six strokes ahead of Spain's Adria Arnaus at Valderrama.

The South African will now play at The Open at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland, where in 2014 at the Amateur Championship he failed a doping test that put him out of the game for nine months.

His explanation that he took beta blockers to help with the stutter he developed after mistakenly drinking rat poison as a child was discounted and he was banned for two years, later reduced to nine months.

Jon Rahm was among five players tied for second - the others were Alvaro Quiros, Eduardo De La Riva and Adria Arnaus, and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera.

The 2017 US Masters winner Sergio Garcia, who hosted the tournament, was seventh, seven shots behind Bezuidenhout.

274 - Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA) (66-68-69-71)

280 - Adria Arnaus (ESP) (68-70-73-69), Eduardo De La Riva (ESP) (71-71-69-69), Mike Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) (68-72-72-68), Alvaro Quiros (ESP) (70-68-76-66), Jon Rahm (ESP) (69-72-67-72)

281 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) (66-72-73-70)

282 - Thomas Bjorn (DEN) (71-73-67-71)

Selected

282 - Gavin Green (MAS) (66-74-73-69), Bernd Ritthamer (GER) (71-72-69-70), Hideto Tanihara (JPN) (70-70-68-74)

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