Dundee-based Victor Perez wins Dunhill Links Championship

Dundee-based Victor Perez has won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews. The Frenchman, who lives in Dundee, lifted the trophy with a score of -22.

Englishman Matthew Southgate finished one behind Perez on -21. Meanwhile, Tommy Fleetwood and Ogden Phipps won the team event.

The win at the Dunhill Links marks Perez’s first win on The European tour, and the Frenchman found it hard to describe his emotions at winning at the historic home of golf.

“It’s really hard to describe right now,” he said.

“I feel like the emotions were really high all day, and really cold, windy, long day out there.

“I felt like I was able to battle. Wasn’t easy. Matt played amazing.

“I was expecting some of the guys to charge, and we were fortunate in a it was a one-on-one battle on the back nine, and was able to make that birdie on 14 that really pulled me back, and then just held strong till the end.”

Perez battled hard with Matthew Southgate, but it turned in his favour when he tied for the lead on 14. He was then able to put himself in the position of playing the 18th with a one shot lead.

“After the birdie on 14, getting tied for the lead, playing 15, I just tried to still give myself chances,” he said.

“You always expect these guys at this level to make birdies and you have to stay aggressive.

“I think when Matt hit his drive down 16, well, there you have it. This is what these guys do.

“They come in there and give themselves chances.

“I hit a great drive to 17 that really settled me and a great iron shot that I thought hit it close.

“Going down the last with a one-shot lead is all you can ask for.”

The new champion lives a mere 20 minute drive away from St Andrews in Dundee, and he gave an insight into why he has based himself there rather than in his native France or elsewhere.

“I’ve been in Dundee for over a year,” he said.

Victor Perez holes on 18th at St Andrews © Grant McKenzie/Discovery Sports Media

“It would be a year and a half. It was quite hard. I felt like I came here on and off before I completely based myself here.

“I think there was a number of reasons why I came here. I think that the culture of golf in Scotland should make almost every golfer want to come here, if you’re in Continental Europe. I think if you start being in the States, it’s a different story.

“But I feel like in Europe, in the U.K., it happened to be Scotland, and it’s great just because the people here live golf.

“It’s all about golf. It’s just the passion for the game. You see people going to gas stations with a golf bag. You never see that in France.

“I felt like for me, I’ve always been — I love golf. Golf is my life. I felt like I needed to be around a culture that would cherish that, rather than, you know, being in France and not to say that the French culture is bad.

“I think it has a lot of really good values, but I feel like to perform in golf, I personally believe that it was better for me to come.”

By winning the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Perez has now secured his European Tour card for another two-years.

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