Robert MacIntyre claimed his first European Tour title at the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, where a seven-under final round 64 earned the Scot a one-stroke victory in a thrilling shoot-out finale.
The 24-year-old carded eight birdies of a final round in which all 19 players who progressed to the final day began on the same score.
The unique tournament format saw just 36 players make it through to the third round, before which the scores were reset, and then the top 16 and ties went through to the final round, with the lowest round of the day sealing victory.
Not surprisingly, it was a closely-fought contest, with MacIntyre, who won last year’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award, picking up three shots in the last five holes to take the title. He almost holed his tee shot at the par-three 17th before tapping in for birdie to take a share of the lead. And a fearless drive down the par-five 18th and an accurate second shot to the green set up a simple two-putt from 20 feet for victory,
MacIntyre said: “This is what I’ve been working for. I can’t believe it. It’s what I’ve dreamed of since being a wee kid watching Scottish Opens at Loch Lomond. To finally play on tour, and I gave myself a lot of chances last year, and this week’s format suited me and I took it.
“My game is there, tee to green I’ve been absolutely brilliant the last two weeks, but the putter has been stone cold. When the rain delay came in there, I said to my caddie Mike, it’s time to show up. I hit a great iron shot into 15 and there it was. It turned up right at the right time. Mike did brilliantly too there. When that storm came in, I had good momentum, had just birdied 13. Then I missed a putt on 14 but the seven-iron into 15 and the iron shot into 17 – we just played left into it, I pulled it slightly but it was a perfect number and I just missed the hole. The 17th hole was huge, when I saw the scores.
“I’ve done a lot of work in the last six months, not thinking about winning a golf tournament, just to play my golf. Last year, I was talking and thinking about winning golf tournaments when I was going down the back nine on a Sunday, but this year I’ve just tried to take my time and let it happen. What will happen will happen and it’s happened today.”
Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura earned the best European Tour finish of his career, finishing runner-up on six under, while Spain’s Jorge Campillo finished in outright third on five under after making an eagle at the final hole. Last week’s Cyprus Open winner, Callum Shinkwin, continued his excellent form, finishing in a tie for fourth.
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