June 3, 2024

Laurie Canter fought back the tears after winning the European Open in Germany on Sunday, his first triumph on the DP World Tour.

Canter, who is part of LIV Golf, said winning on the DP World Tour – formerly known as the European Tour – was “all I’ve wanted to do since I turned pro”. His comments suggest LIV stars still care passionately about playing on the Wentworth-based golf circuit.

The Bath-born golfer was joint leader going into the final round at Green Eagle near Hamburg, and managed to fend off competitors with a one-under-par round of 72 on Sunday, beating Thriston Lawrence and ex-LIV star Bernd Wiesberger by two strokes.

This marks the 34 year old’s first win on the DP World Tour and only his second professional victory – his previous win was back in 2015 on the Jamega Pro Golf Tour. He walks away with the largest share of a £2million prize fund, pocketing £334,000.

Canter, who turned pro in 2011, was one of the founding members of LIV and spent the 2022 season as part of the Cleeks team. However, he lost his place on the roster in 2023 and had to make do with a reserve role. Despite this, he still participated in 11 out of the 14 events, ending up 44th in the end-of-season rankings.

The 34 year old tried to secure a full-time position on LIV at the LIV Promotions event in December, but narrowly missed out, falling short in a two-for-three playoff. He has resumed his role as a reserve player this season, finishing 15th and 21st in Mayakoba and Las Vegas respectively, earning just under £400,000 in prize money.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his LIV status, Canter has managed to participate in five DP World Tour events this season while also playing on the LIV circuit. The DP World Tour typically suspends players for up to eight tournaments and fines them as much as £100,000 for participating in LIV events.

 

However, due to Canter’s lower ranking on the DP World Tour, his penalties have been relatively mild, allowing him to maintain a presence on both tours.

After more than 200 starts without clinching a victory on a major tour and experiencing numerous close calls, Canter was visibly moved on the 18th green as he finally celebrated a long-awaited triumph. He shared with Sky Sports: “This is all I’ve wanted to do since I turned pro and even before I was a pro, so it’s really hard to rationalise, but I’m really happy.

“It went my way today when in the past it hasn’t. Probably now that I’ve done it, I look back at when I didn’t do it and it wasn’t so much what I was doing; it was other people [snatching victory]. It happened for me today and I think from my perspective, I kept putting one foot in front of the other. I know how to play golf.

“Even on 18, I was thinking about the past and things that could go wrong, so it was good to hit it on the right side of the fairway where I wanted it. It will probably take a while to digest everything that has happened.”

Following his win, Canter is projected to ascend to eighth place in the Race To Dubai Rankings. With 10 PGA Tour cards up for grabs at season’s end for top performers without an exemption, it’s a significant leap. Additionally, he’s secured a spot in the Scottish Open, scheduled a week prior to next month’s Open Championship.

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