Golf: Jacquelin capitalises on Warren’s collapse

Scot's late bogeys cost him both title and spot in marathon play-off. Picture: Getty
Scot's late bogeys cost him both title and spot in marathon play-off. Picture: Getty
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SCOTLAND’S Mark Warren saw a three-shot lead slip from his grasp, then missed out on a marathon two-hour play-off, as Raphael Jacquelin won the 2013 Open de Espana after a record ninth play-off hole in Valencia.

Jacquelin saw off the challenge of Chile’s Felipe Aguilar and Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer during a prolonged play-off battle after the trio finished the final round tied on five under par following the collapse by Warren.

The Frenchman went head to head with Kieffer on the 18th after Aguilar was knocked out following the third play-off hole.

The duo battled it out in the joint-longest European Tour play-off since its formation in 1972, with a decider in the 1989 Dutch Open the only other sudden death to run to a ninth hole.

The play-off, which lasted two hours, ended when Jacquelin hit a wedge to five feet from the hole and finished off for a three-shot birdie.

“That was very tiring but I am really, really happy,” said Jacquelin. I could not make any putts (in the play-off) but the last one dropped, which means a lot for me and my family.

“There’s another baby coming at the end of November; every time I get a baby, there’s a win so I’ll have a football team after a few years!”

Jacquelin had put himself in contention on Friday with a 66 despite pesky winds on the Parador de El Saler course. The 38-year-old’s 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.

The play-off was set up after overnight leader Warren bogeyed three of his last six holes to slip out of contention.

It was reminiscent of last year’s Scottish Open, where Warren was three clear late on and went on to throw away the lead

However, it looked as if he would hold on to claim victory as despite dropping a shot on the second he claimed a birdie on the par-five third hole and carded par on the fifth.

But then it all started to go wrong, as a dropped shot on the next when an eight-foot putt refused to sink and back-to-back bogeys at the 14th and 15th meant Aguilar, who was in the clubhouse after a round of 70, joined him at the top of the leaderboard.

A birdie on the 16th gave the Scot a brief glimmer of hope, but two more bogeys on the final two holes left him four over par for the round and out of the play-off showdown.

After taking the lead on Saturday, Warren seemed calm, but luck deserted him yesterday. Pointedy, before teeing off yesterday, he had said: “Concentration is paramount, especially on a course as tough as this one.”

Kieffer, 22, turned professional in 2010 and has one Challenge Tour title to his name, last year’s Gujarat Kensville Challenge in India.

Final totals

(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72)

283 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 73 66 73 71 ((Raphael Jacquelin won after 9 holes play-off), Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 68 71 74 70, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 75 68 69 71

284 Marc Warren 70 70 68 76, Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 70 75 68 71, Paul Waring 71 71 69 73, David Horsey 71 74 66 73

285 Peter Uihlein (USA) 70 68 74 73, Espen Kofstad (Nor) 71 72 70 72, Eddie Pepperell 70 70 73 72, Matteo Delpodio (Ita) 73 69 73 70

286 Lasse Jensen (Den) 71 70 74 71, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 72 73 70 71, Andrew Marshall 72 74 70 70, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 71 72 71 72

287 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 74 72 68 73, Paul Casey 72 70 72 73, Gareth Maybin 74 71 75 67, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 78 68 72 69, Peter Lawrie 71 74 72 70

288 Craig Lee 69 71 70 78, Joost Luiten (Ned) 74 72 70 72, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 69 76 69 74, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 72 73 68 75, Lee Slattery 75 71 70 72, James Morrison 72 73 73 70

Selected others: 289 Callum Macaulay 73 71 74 71. 290 David Drysdale 73 72 68 77. 292 Alastair Forsyth 76 70 74 72.