Rafael Cabrera Bello continued his native Spain’s dominance of the sporting summer with a two-shot triumph over England’s Gary Lockerbie at the Credit Suisse Challenge.
Following victories for the Spanish national side at the European championships, his compatriot and namesake Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, and close friend Pablo Larrazabal at the Open de France ALSTOM, Cabrera Bello ensured a return to the winner’s enclosure with a final round of 68 for a 25 under par total.
Cabrera Bello, who claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title two years ago at the Man NÖ Open in Austria, dropped just one shot and posted six birdies in a nerveless display of golf in testing conditions at Wylihof Golf Club in Luterbach, Switzerland.
The young Spaniard, whose winner’s cheque for €22,400 moved up to 13th place in the Challenge Tour Rankings, has now targeted a swift return to The European Tour, which he graced last season.
He said: “It was a tough in the rain, but I felt I played very steadily all day. My score could’ve been even lower, but maybe that’s being greedy! I knew I’d have to play well to beat Gary, because he’s a great player. Now my focus is getting back onto The European Tour, because I love competing against some of the best players in the world.”
Lockerbie’s runner-up finish was the third of his Challenge Tour career, but the 25 year old could console himself with a cheque for €15,400. Spain’s Santiago Luna and Italy’s Lorenzo Gagli were tied for third on 19 under par.
Earlier in the day, Sweden’s Johan Axgren provided another highlight when at the fifth hole he struck a six iron 187 yards into the cup for the first hole in one of the tournament – and the first of his career.
He said: “It landed about six feet short and just released into the hole. There were a couple of guys standing behind the green who started cheering, so I knew straight away that it was in. It was a great feeling – it’s just annoying that it was two holes too late, because I would’ve won a Jaguar car if it had been on the third hole!”