Chile’s Felipe Aguilar confirmed his position as the Number One player on the European Tour Challenge Tour by winning the OKI Mahou Open de España after a play-off with Germany’s Tobias Dier.
Aguilar shot a final round of five under par 67 – which included an eagle and five birdies, crucially one coming on the 18th hole – to finish on 17 under par 271, which Dier matched after his closing 70 at the Golf Campo de Layos in Madrid.
However, Aguilar, fresh from a two week break in his native Chile and having already secured his European Tour card for 2008 following a tremendous season, claimed his second win in the past month when he beat Dier at the first extra hole, the replayed 18th hole, with a par four.
Aguilar, who recently won the POSTBANK Challenge presented by Marcel Siem, in a play-off, said: “Although I had a lot more adrenaline this time, I was also more calm today. I think once you have broken the ice, things are easier, but it takes a while to break it!”
Dier, who twice found sand in the play-off, said: “I am not very disappointed, I hit a really good shot on the last, the play-off hole, from the fairway bunker, but I absolutely miscalculated the wind. I am happy with the way I’m playing and hopefully I can do one better next week.”
Aguilar leads the Challenge Tour Rankings with €111,674 to France’s Michael Lorenzo-Vera’s €82,309. He said: “I’ve had a great season on the Challenge Tour and I want to win the Rankings – but it feels great to know that I’ll be back on the European Tour next year.”
Aguilar won his Tour card at the 2005 Qualifying School but did not retain his playing privileges the following year.
In the battle to try and win in Spain, France’s Francois Calmels shot his best round of professional golf, a six under par 66, to finish on 16 under par 276 and in third place, his best European Challenge Tour finish on his debut season.
Finland’s Antti Ahokas, co-leader overnight with Dier, was fourth after a 73 left him on 14 under par 274.