JORGE Campillo holed three monster birdie putts to defeat David Drysdale in an extraordinary play-off to win his second European Tour title at the 2020 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
First he holed from 25-feet after finding sand off the tee with the veteran Scott having a makeable putt from just six feet.
Then Campillo then watched a 20-footer drop for an unlikely three at the second play-off hole – this time Drysdale, who had not recorded a win in 497 European Tour starts, was inside four feet under the hole.
With his wife Vicky on the bag, Drysdale could only grin as the Spaniard celebrated another unlikely birdie before the pair shared a fist bump as they headed back to the 18th tee.
Both men made routine pars on the third and fourth play-off holes and were given a buggy to make their way down the fairway as the light began to fade at Doha’s Education City, the new host for the Qatar Masters.
Another putt from beyond 20 feet brought Campillo a birdie. And when Drysdale missed from similar range, Campillo was a two-time winner in his 250th event after five extra trips up the last.
A delighted Campillo said: “I’m just so proud right now of the way I played in the play-off.
“I hardly missed a shot and I was able to make some putts. I’m very thankful for everyone that helped me and Callaway with the new material that helped me a lot.
“I played not so good on the first few holes and then in the middle of the round I played okay,” said the overnight leader.
“Apart from 17, I was solid. You know how the mind works, I wasn’t expecting to make a bogey on 16, on that tee shot I was comfortable.
“But I was a little bit scared of the driver on 17. I missed it there and then I hit a bad putt, I don’t normally hit bad putts from off the green.
“I knew I was still in the game and I was able to pull it off. I hit some good shots coming in the middle of the round.
“But you have to be patient – you have to try hard. I knew I was going to make some putts,” added the runner-up in last year’s event, who had made a slow start to the 2020 season.
“It was a tough win but I’m glad I pulled it off. It’s been tough. I didn’t get to practise that much, too many things to do.
“Getting married and then the honeymoon,” explained Jorge Campilllo.
“New caddie, new clubs so everything was a little different, my game was a little off, but I knew that with practice I would get to where I was.”
The fact that the pair made four birides in the play-off on course designer Jose-Maria Olazabal’s testing 18th hole was testament to the pair’s play – only two birdies were made on the last in regulation by the 77-strong field on Sunday.
“Three birdies out of six on 18 to win is something to be proud of,” added the new champion.
“It’s a great par four, 18. A tough hole. David was hitting some great shots into the hole and I had to make some putts,” added Campillo, who was ranked Spain’s No. 1 amateur for six years having won the Big Ten triple crown in 2008, while at Indiana University.
Late bogeys sent Qatar into play-off
THE Spaniard held a two-shot lead with two holes to play as Drysdale and Denmark’s Jeff Winter tried to close the gap in the hunt for their maiden victories.
But a dropped shot on the 16h followed by a double bogey on the 17th dropped Jorge Campillo – the winner of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, just under a year ago, back to 13-under.
There was one more twist however, as the long-time leader left his 25-feet birdie attempt on the 18th in the jaws of the hole.
And that meant the European Tour went to extra holes for the second week in a row in the Middle East.
Jorge Campillo had to wait 229 events for his first European Tour victory but has now won in consecutive seasons.
For Drysdale, it was the 498th European Tour event without a win and a fourth runner-up finish – the last had been at the 2018 Alfred Dunhill Championship, in South Africa.
Winther bogeyed the 16th and 17th to finish one shot out of the play-off alongside Swede Niklas Lemke and Finn Kalle Samooja, who was looking to cash in on the success of rookie Sami Valimaki, who became the fourth Finnish player to win on Tour in Oman last week.
Lemke shot a best-of-day 65 – matched by Gavin Green – while Alexander Björk was at 11-under.
That was a shot clear of fellow countryman Marcus Kinhult as both Swedes chased their second wins on Tour.
Italy’s Nino Bertasio – who closed with a 66 – South African George Coetzee, Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal and England’s Chris Paisley also finished on 10-under.
•For final scores in Qatar click here.