Raphael Jacquelin wins record-equalling play-off to secure Spanish Open title
Raphael Jacquelin emerged triumphant after a record-equalling nine-hole play-off to win the Spanish Open on Sunday.
Last Updated: 22/04/13 11:28am
Jacquelin finally got the better of German rookie Maximilian Kieffer after an exhausting and repetitive battle down the par-four 18th hole to secure the fourth European Tour title of his career.
The duo had been joined by Felipe Aguilar at the start of the play-off after all three men finished regulation play at five-under-par, but the Chilean dropped out at the third extra hole.
Jacquelin had looked poised for victory at that point having put his approach to three feet, but Kieffer holed a remarkable 50-foot putt from off the front of the green to make an unlikely birdie to prolong the contest.
The Frenchman then had numerous chances from fifteen feet or so but could not find the hole before making a fine up-and-down from the sand to stay alive at the seventh time of asking.
Finally, having equalled the European Tour record for the longest play-off, Jacquelin made a five-foot birdie putt to seal victory after Kieffer had to settle for yet another par.
Disastrous finish for Warren
For long spells the most likely winner of the event had looked to be Scotland's Marc Warren who started the day with a two-shot lead, but he fell short after a disastrous bogey-bogey finish.
The Scot had a two-shot cushion with five holes remaining only to drop shots at 14 and 15 to let his rivals back in.
He appeared to have made a decisive move after spectacularly holing out from a bunker for birdie at 16 to get his nose back in front, but then crumbled by missing short putts at both 17 and 18 to ultimately miss out on the play-off.
Englishmen David Horsey and Paul Waring also had the chance to join the play-off but were unable to make birdie at 18 to reach five-under and had to settle for a share of second with Warren and Sweden's Magnus A Carlsson.
"It was very tiring, but at least I won it," a delighted Jacquelin told Sky Sports afterwards. "I'm very happy, it was tough at the end and I couldn't make a putt, but that final one dropped and it means a lot.
"He's (Kieffer) started this year very well and he's going to win a lot, I'm sure."