Spain’s Alejandro Canizares was quick to target further success after cruising to a wire-to-wire victory in the Hassan Trophy yesterday, his first European Tour title since 2006.
Canizares took a six-shot lead into the final round at Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir and carded a closing 70 to finish 19 under, five clear of England’s Andy Sullivan.
Sullivan charged through the field with a brilliant 63, the 26-year-old from Nuneaton covering the back nine in just 29, including birdies at the final four holes.
England’s Seve Benson birdied the 18th to claim a share of third place with Sweden’s Magnus A Carlsson, who had completed a 68 by holing from off the green on the last for par after a left-handed escape shot from the trees.
Canizares, whose previous victory came in the Russian Open on his third start as an affiliate member, would have won by a greater margin if not for a piece of bad luck on the 18th, where his approach rolled back off the green and up against a clump of turf from a divot that had not been replaced.
The 31-year-old was told by a referee he was not allowed to move the turf and succeeded in moving the ball only a few yards with his third shot before it again rolled back down the slope almost to his feet.
From there he duffed his next pitch, but at least allowed himself a wry smile before eventually getting up and down for a double-bogey six.
“It was a pity it ended like that, but who cares? I won the tournament so I am very happy,” said Canizares. “It’s a special moment. I can’t wait to get back home to celebrate with friends and family.
“It’s been a long time since the last win. It felt like it was never coming but this week I played great, some of the best golf of my career. I hit good shot after good shot and kept my focus.
“I was very accurate and solid with my irons. I left myself lots of chances and although I did not make all of them, the first day was the key. I putted great the first day, shot 10 under and just kept pushing on.
“Hopefully this is the first step for a little bit of improvement in my career. I have some stuff to work on and hopefully I improve little by little to the point where I can play golf as naturally as I did this week.”
(GB & Ire unless stated, par 72):
269 Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 62 68 69 70
274 Andrew Sullivan 66 73 72 63
276 Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 65 71 72 68, Seve Benson 63 68 74 71
277 Richard Bland 69 70 70 68, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 68 71 70 68, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 68 67 75 67
278 Paul Waring 72 69 67 70, David Horsey 72 64 72 70, Tom Lewis 69 74 70 65
280 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 71 67 70 72, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 69 73 71 67, Brett Rumford (Aus) 73 71 70 66, Richie Ramsay 72 71 68 69, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 71 69 70 70, George Coetzee (RSA) 69 69 74 68