Ancer Concludes Saudi International Wire-to-Wire Success

Mexican Abraham Ancer held off American Cameron Yong to secure a wire-to-wire win in the Saudi International on Sunday.

Since topping the leaderboard after Thursday’s opening round, Ancer’s solid play has withstood the challenge of Young and, at times, rough and windy conditions.

His two-under par 68 shutout left him with a total of 19-under par of 261, two strokes ahead of Young.

Other than Young, Ancer impressively accomplished just two bogeys on his way to a fourth professional win, all achieved in different countries.

Australia’s Lucas Herbert was 15-under par for third, with fourth-placed Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana a shot clear.

Young made four birdies on his first seven holes to catch Ancer, who started with birdies on his first and fourth.

The Mexican then made a brilliant save on the seventh to stay level, and then scripted a two-stroke swing on the eighth hole when he dropped a 30-foot birdie putt into a bogey from his rival.

Young, who now has five second-place finishes in the past year, continued to struggle before finally giving the consistent Ancer some breathing space with a double bogey on the 15th hole.

Ancer, who is expected to move up to No. 27 in the world rankings next week, revealed that one of the keys to his success was a mental game he played in his head.

“I kept telling myself that I was in 20th place. I didn’t look at the standings much.

“I feel like if you’re just thinking ‘I just have to hold on’ then it’s probably not going to be a good result.

β€œI kept telling myself, you have to hit shots and you can’t play it safe. I have to play just like I played, try to birdie and attack the golf course,” the 31-year-old said.

He added: “It’s the first time I’ve been able to win flush so it’s been a lot of fun, as well as being able to play golf every single day.”

A disappointed youngster reflects: “I really thought I played quite well. I’m playing a lot of tournaments in the next few weeks, so I think I’m in a good position to go forward.”

The 25-year-old, PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2022 after four second-place finishes and three third-place finishes, added: “Abe golfed really well.

β€œHe just made no mistakes, I think he maybe had two bogeys all week. And with the wind blowing, and as strong as it was, that shows amazing control of your golf ball and a lot of mental toughness.”

Young, who lost at last year’s British Open to a brilliant finish by Cameron Smith, said he believed those performances were “proof that I can win anywhere”.

Ancer added this tournament to victories at the 2021 WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in the US, the 2018 Emirates Australian Open and the 2015 Nova Scotia Open in Canada.

The Asian Tour then moves to Oman and Qatar for two events in the international series.


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