Crocker holds off Pepperell to clinch maiden DP World Tour title

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Sean Crocker said he knocked the door "clean off its hinges" after going wire-to-wire to win his first DP World Tour title

The American led through the first three rounds of the Hero Open at Fairmount St Andrews and he held off the challenge of Eddie Pepperell to triumph by a single shot on Sunday.

Pepperell carded a brilliant seven-under 65 to go back into the clubhouse on 21 under to apply the pressure, but Crocker was able to hold his nerve.

Having started the season by missing the cut in eight of the first nine tournaments he competed in – and retiring from the other one – the 25-year-old led by one at the turn and holed three birdies to start the back nine in fine fashion.

That gave him the breathing space required to avoid a play-off, as he parred each of the final five holes to card a 68 and claim a hard-earned triumph.

"Winning a golf tournament is not easy. And Eddie did not make that easy for me either," Crocker said. "After the three-putt par on the 15th I kind of thought I still had a little bit of room but they're not easy holes coming down that stretch.

"I thought I could make it pretty easy – it's a par five coming in – but I don't think it's ever easy to make a par to win a golf tournament. That was pretty special.

"I was nervous. I've felt pressure like that before but it's my first pro tournament win. That putt looked like it was 20 feet, that hole looked like it was half-an-inch wide.

"It's awesome. It just shows you that you just don't know what this game is going to bring you.

"We go out there every day trying our hardest and we can play terrible for a long time and then all of a sudden you have a week like this where every bounce seemed to go my way.

"I hope I keep putting myself in this position. That door has been locked shut for me for almost five years. To go wire-to-wire I think I knocked the door clean off its hinges, which is nice."

Pepperell, who had eight birdies in his final round but was ultimately left to lament a bogey on the ninth, finished alone in second, two shots clear of David Law and Adrian Otaegui.

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