Quesne surprise winner of Andalucian Open

Quesne surprise winner of Andalucian Open

Little-known Frenchman Julien Quesne equalled the Aloha course record to become the shock winner of the Andalucian Open today.

The 31-year-old had never previously finished higher than 16th in any European Tour event, but birdied four of the last five holes for a 64 and two-stroke victory over Italian teenager Matteo Manassero.

Challenge Tour graduate Quesne, ranked 322nd in the world, said: "I think it's the best day of my life - I will remember this day all of my life."

The eight-under-par round was the lowest of his career on the main circuit and the £139,039 first prize more than doubled his earnings since he made his debut eight years ago.

Joint sixth when he teed off, Quesne finished a front-nine 32 with back-to-back birdies, but it was the three in a row from the 14th which put him out in front.

That run was completed with a magnificent two putts from well over 60 feet at the long 16th, but his closing seven-footer on the difficult 18th always looked likely to give him victory.

Eighteen-year-old Manassero, who opened the tournament with a 64, took second place on his own when overnight leader Eduardo de la Riva bogeyed the last to drop into third place.

As is their custom, Quesne was showered with champagne by fellow French players afterwards, but at least he resisted the temptation to go and jump in the lake on the 18th.

Thomas Levet did that when he captured his home French Open last July - and broke his leg.

Runner-up Manassero, who two years ago became Europe's youngest-ever winner, may well have to triumph in this coming week's Hassan Trophy in Morocco to climb into the world's top 50 in time for The Masters.

The same is probably true of England's Robert Rock, who finished in a tie for 17th, while tournament host Miguel Angel Jimenez, trying to become the circuit's oldest-ever winner at 48, managed only a 71 and had to settle for joint seventh place.

Earlier on it looked as though Raphael Jacquelin would be the Frenchman with something to celebrate.

He took over top spot with an outward 32, but bogeyed the 12th and 13th and came joint fifth.

Ireland's Shane Lowry also finished disappointingly. After covering the first 14 holes in seven under to be only one off the lead he dropped shots on the 16th and 17th and finished alongside Jimenez.

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