No rest for the weary, they say. David Drysdale knows that all too well.
A struggle of nearly 21 years and almost 500-odd tournaments continues for the Scot as, in fading light at the Education City Golf Club, Spain’s Jorge Campillo prevailed over Drysdale in an epic five-hole playoff to win the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters yesterday.
Campillo had a two-shot lead going into the final two holes, despite a bogey on the 16th.
But a double bogey on the 17th and a par on the final hole meant that he was tied with Drysdale at 13-under to push the matters into a playoff for the second time in as many weeks.
Last week, Sami Valimaki of Finland overcame difficult conditions to win the Oman Open after beating South African Brandon Stone in a playoff in the third edition of the European Tour event.
Yesterday, Campillo found sand off the tee on the first playoff hole but a 25-foot putt brought a birdie which Drysdale matched from six feet. Another 20-footer brought another birdie for the Spaniard, with Drysdale even closer to the hole than his previous effort. The duo could not be separated as they made routine pars on the third and fourth.
Continuing to play the 513-yard 18th for the fifth time, another putt from beyond 20 feet brought Campillo a birdie. But the 44-year-old Scot, whose wife Vicky caddies for him, missed from similar range for a heart-breaking end to his campaign around ECGC.
It was the fourth time Drysdale had finished runner-up.
“I’m just so proud right now of the way I played in the playoff,” an elated Campillo said.
It is Campillo’s second title, having won his first European Tour title after 229 events at the Trophee Hassan II in 2019.
“I played not so good on the first few holes and then in the middle of the round I played okay. Apart from 17, I was solid. You know how the mind works, I wasn’t expecting to make a bogey on 16, on that tee shot I was comfortable, but I was a little bit scared of the driver on 17. I missed it there and then I hit a bad putt, I don’t normally hit bad putts from off the green.
“You have to be patient, you have to try hard. I knew I was going to make some putts. It was a tough win but I’m glad I pulled it off,” the 33-year-old said.
“It’s a great par four, 18, a tough hole. David was hitting some great shots into the hole and I had to make some putts. Three birdies out of six on 18 to win is something to be proud of.”
Earlier, Dane Jeff Winther bogeyed the 16th and 17th to finish one shot out of the play-off alongside Swede Niklas Lemke and Finn Kalle Samooja. Lemke made birdies on the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, 11th, 13th and 14th to surge up the leaderboard but made two late bogeys in a 65. Samooja holed very long putts on the ninth and 11th in a 69 containing four birdies and two bogeys. Swede Alexander Bjork was at 11-under, a shot clear of countryman Marcus Kinhult, Italy’s Nino Bertasio, South African George Coetzee, Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and England’s Chris Paisley.
India’s SSP Chawrasia, a four-time European Tour winner, finished tied 28th.
LEADING FINAL ROUND SCORES
271: Jorge Campillo (ESP) 66-66-67-72, David Drysdale (SCO) 67-69-64-71
Campillo wins on fifth play-off hole
272: Niklas Lemke (SWE) 68-69-70-65, Kalle Samooja (FIN) 70-67-66-69, Jeff Winther (DEN) 66-69-65-72
273: Alexander Bjork (SWE) 70-63-69-71
274: Nino Bertasio (ITA) 72-69-67-66, George Coetzee (RSA) 70-68-69-67, Marcus Kinhult (SWE) 68-65-73-68, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 72-67-63-72, Chris Paisley (ENG) 69-70-67-68
275: Marcus Armitage (ENG) 67-71-66-71, Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) 66-70-69-70, Gavin Green (MAL) 70-69-71-65, Scott Jamieson (SCO) 67-68-69-71, Adrien Saddier (FRA) 69-70-67-69
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