Jacquelin wins record-tying playoff for Spanish Open title

The Canadian Press
4/21/2013 2:37:58 PM
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VALENCIA, Spain -- Raphael Jacquelin of France won a record-tying playoff at the Spanish Open on Sunday after finally edging out Germany's Maximilian Kieffer on their ninth try at the 18th hole.

Jacquelin made a five-foot birdie putt to end the two-hour battle with Kieffer in what started as a three-way playoff including Chile's Felipe Aguilar.

The three players were tied at 5-under 283, with Jacquelin and Kieffer both carding a 1-under 71 in the final round while Aguilar finished with a 70.

It was Jacquelin's fourth European Tour victory and his first in over two years.

"That is very tiring but I am really, really happy," Jacquelin said. "I could not make any putts (in the playoff) but the last one dropped, which means a lot for me and my family."

The only other European Tour event to be decided by a nine-hole playoff was the 1989 Dutch Open.

Jacquelin started the day four shots off the pace, but overnight leader Mark Warren bogeyed four of his last five holes in a late collapse, finishing with a 76 to sit one shot behind the leading trio. Jacquelin, meanwhile, made his fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th to make the playoff.

Warren had a chance to join in the playoff but bogeyed the last to let all chances of victory slip away.

In the playoff, all three players made par the first two times around before Jacquelin and Kieffer both birdied their third attempts to make it a two-way race. Both players then made par five times in a row before Jacquelin's winning birdie.

Jacquelin praised the 22-year-old Kieffer, who was playing in just his ninth European Tour tournament.

"He is starting this year very well," he said. "He is going to do very well and going to win a lot, I am sure."

Jacquelin had put himself in contention Friday with a 66 despite pesky winds on the Parador de El Saler course to move up the leaderboard. The 38-year-old Frenchman's last win came at the Sicilian Open in 2011. His first European Tour win was also in Spain, at the Madrid Open in 2005.

"There's another baby coming at the end of November," said Jacquelin, a father of three. "Every time I get a baby, there's a win so I'll have a football team after a few years."

Raphael Jacquelin (Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


(Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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