Hennie Otto from South Africa won his first victory on the European Challenge Tour when he captured the Philips Challenge Xacobeo 99 at Golf Club de La Coruna, Spain.
The 23 year old, who had won twice previously in his native country, savoured the victory which hoisted him into second place on the Challenge Tour Rankings, assuring him of a card to play on the European Tour next season.
Otto holed a 20 foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to beat Spaniard Pello Iguaran after both players had finished locked on 278, ten under par.
Otto shot a closing 69 and Iguaran a 67 in the fourth and final round. It looked as if the Spaniard, who has caddied for Igancio Garrido and is a close friend of Jose Maria Olazabal, was going to give Spain an extra celebration following the Alfred Dunhill Cup success.
However Otto’s putter warmed up after a cool start and he birdied the 16th and 17th and made a good par save at the last to get into the play-off. After that, a three iron, wedge and that 20 foot putt did the rest.
Victory earned Otto 12,994 euro (£9281) and propelled him from ninth on the Challenge Tour Rankings to seventh with 43,477 euro (£31,055), still over £18,000 adrift of No.1 Carl Suneson, but in a healthy position.
He said: “I am very pleased with this victory as it will allow me to play on the European Tour next year, which has been my main objective since I turned professional in 1997.
“I had been hitting the ball very well but not holing anything until I made these very important birdie putts at the 16th and 17th. I made a good par at the last and it was nice to make another one in the play-off.”
Knud Storegaard of Denmark finished with a round of 71 to take third place on 279 while Scotland’s Greig Hutcheon moved up to No. 15 for the first time this season after sharing fifth place.