Jorge Campillo wins maiden European Tour title at Trophee Hassan II
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 01/05/19 10:49am
Jorge Campillo is finally a champion on the European Tour after he produced a strong finish to snatch a two-shot victory at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco.
Campillo, in his 229th start on Tour, birdied the 16th and 17th at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam before holding his nerve to par the last and close out a two-under 71 which proved good enough for a winning score of nine under par.
American duo Sean Crocker and Julian Suri had to settle for a share of second place with overnight leader Erik van Rooyen after a final day when nobody in the field managed to break 70.
Campillo has been in the heat of contention in three of his last four starts, recording back-to-back runner-up finishes in Oman and Qatar before adding a third place at the Hero Indian Open last month.
The Spaniard's chances of ending his long wait for a breakthrough win took an early hit when he bogeyed the second and third holes, but he steadied himself with a run of pars before picking up his first birdie of the round at the long eighth.
He then holed a good putt from 12 feet at the 11th, and he soon found himself in the outright lead when Van Rooyen followed a bogey at 10 with a three-putt bogey at the 14th as the South African slipped to six under.
Campillo then seized his chance as he converted an excellent approach to inside 10 feet for birdie at 16, and he displayed an assured touch with his short game at the penultimate hole with a sublime pitch to set up a tap-in for his fourth gain of the day.
The 32-year-old found sand from the tee at the last, but he produced to superb recovery and signed off with a solid par which sealed the first prize of 416,660 euros which lifted him to sixth place in the Race to Dubai.
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"It's been a while, but it's worth it and I'm just going to enjoy this," Campillo said afterwards. "I made so many promises that I have to do after I win that I might have to take a few weeks off.
"It was tough, I didn't have my 'A' game. I was missing shots off the tee but I putted great. I hit some great shots coming in and I'm proud. I'm proud of the way I finished. I finished today like a champion."
Crocker left himself too much to do when he made three bogeys in four holes on the front nine, although he birdied the final two holes to salvage a 72 which earned him a tie for second with Van Rooyen and Suri, who kept a bogey off his card but found birdies hard to come by, making only two along with 16 pars in his closing 71.
Van Rooyen also carded just the two birdies against three dropped shots in a disappointing 74, while David Lipsky made it three Americans in the top five after he closed with an erratic 72 featuring six birdies and five bogeys - including three in a row on the back nine which effectively ended his title hopes.
Scotland's Grant Forrest was the leading British challenger after he fired a 74 to finish on four under, while first-round leader Jordan Smith limped home in 76 to slip out of the top 10, although he was one of only 20 players to complete 72 holes under the card.