England’s Andrew Johnston hailed a dream come true after holding off a final-day charge from tournament host Sergio Garcia to win a first European Tour title in the Spanish Open.
Johnston carded a final round of 70 at Valderrama to finish one over par and a shot ahead of Holland’s Joost Luiten, with Garcia another stroke back after a closing 67.
That was the lowest score of the day as the world number 16 took advantage of the calm conditions, but the 36-year-old was left to rue missing from 10 feet for an eagle on the 17th and a bogey on the last.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Johnston, 27, the first winner of a regular European Tour event with an over-par total since Ian Woosnam in the 1996 Scottish Open at Carnoustie. “You try to picture yourself coming down the last trying to hole that winning putt. It’s surreal. I came off the course and I just started crying with the emotion of it.”
Johnston won the Challenge Tour in 2014 and finished 70th on the Race to Dubai last season.
Meanwhile Irish international Colm Campbell made the long trip south from Warrenpoint more than worthwhile winning at the EMC Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup in Cork yesterday.
Campbell, one of five internationals in an 80-strong field, shot three successive one-under-par rounds of 71 to land one of Munster’s most prestigious tournaments and collect the maximum available World Amateur Golf Ranking points, succeeding 2015 winner Dave O’Donovan of Muskerry GC and previous champions including Shane Lowry (2009).
Campbell’s three-under 213 was enough for a two-stroke victory over 36-hole co-leader Andrew McCormack, from Newcastle West, after a final-round duel. Robin Dawson of Tramore was four shots behind fellow international Campbell in third with another Warrenpoint man, Jamie Fletcher, fourth on 219.
Blainroe’s Colin Woodroofe had led the field after 18 holes thanks to an opening 69, the low round of the weekend, but Campbell had brought good form into Lee Valley having reached the semi-finals of the West of Ireland and then winning the Dublin Scratch Foursomes with Ryan Gribben at Grange the previous weekend.
“I played quite nicely,” Campbell said. “I was consistent and made a few nice putts. A good weekend’s work.”
Campbell bogeyed the 14th but then turned the tables at the par-five 15th, making birdie as McCormack bogeyed, and held on to the two-shot cushion from there, coming home with pars.
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