SPANIARD Rafael Cabrera Bello was almost in a daze yesterday after an unbelievable round of 60 brought him his first European Tour title.
The 25-year-old, eight behind with a round to go at the Austrian Open in Vienna, beat England’s Benn Barham by a shot – and even had a putt for a 59 on the final green.
Nobody has ever managed that on the circuit, but although the 30-footer for eagle missed, Cabrera Bello’s tap-in proved to be the winning stroke when overnight leader Barham failed with his 18-foot birdie attempt.
Just the 13th player to shoot 60 – Darren Clarke has done it twice – he was also only the third to achieve it on the final day and win.
“It’s just amazing – I played the best golf of my life and I can’t believe it,” said Cabrera Bello, who had missed eight of his previous 10 halfway cuts and had never managed to score lower than 64 on Tour.
“I was so far back I wasn’t thinking about winning. I just tried to play a shot at a time and today it worked out really, really good.”
A hat-trick of birdies from the third and then four in a row from the eighth brought him into the joint lead with Barham, who had been three clear of the field overnight.
The English golfer did not manage a single birdie in his first 10 holes, but responded each time when Cabrera Bello picked up further strokes on the 13th and 14th.
Barham then found himself two behind as the Canary Islander – fourth in the 2002 Spanish Open as a 17-year-old amateur – found the target again from 10 feet at the 16th and two-putted the par five last for a 20 under par aggregate.
Needing to win to secure his card for next season, Barham still had a good chance when he made a 12-footer on the 16th, but a drive into the rough at the last was a costly error.
Cabrera Bello, 74th on the money list after graduating from the Challenge Tour last year, earned £145,507 (€160,927), while Barham’s £97,007 (€107,287) keeps him outside the top 115 and still in danger of a return to the qualifying school.
Ryder Cup Dane Soren Hansen finished third for the second week running, while England’s Richard Bland returned a 66 to move into fourth spot.
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