Alvaro Velasco staged a dramatic final day comeback to win the Cordon Golf Open, shooting an incredible eight under par 62 to seal a one-shot victory at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val André.
The Spaniard started his fourth round eight shots behind leader Alexander Knappe, but an outstanding back nine – which started with five birdies and an eagle in seven holes – coupled with the German’s struggles gave Velasco a three-shot lead coming down the last.
The 35 year old bogeyed the last but set the clubhouse target on 12 under par before back-to-back birdies for Knappe left him needing a birdie on 18 to force a play-off – but his long effort came up short, giving Velasco a third career European Challenge Tour victory.
Knappe could be consoled by moving up to third place in the Road to Oman Rankings – which Jordan Smith now tops again after his fourth place finish in Brittany made him the first player to top 100,000 points this season – but the day belonged to a delighted Velasco, back in the winner’s circle for the first time in six years.
“It’s hard to describe at the moment, but I’m so happy,” he said. “It’s unbelievable, and today was amazing, I’m thrilled.
“Everything changes now for me. This year for me so far has been quite bad, my game hasn’t been very sharp, but this week I found something and a win here is huge for me, so I’m really excited for what comes next now.
“Six years it’s been, since Kazakhstan and La Gomera, and it’s been tough. I’ve been working a lot, not really playing too much, but hopefully it starts coming now – it’s been a long wait but it feels great.
“I don’t know how I did it today. I just tried to do my best, and I started to realise how well I was doing so I just kept going – it’s an unbelievable round, 62, and I couldn’t wish any better.
“My playing partners were probably quite shocked at a couple of the putts – I had some nice breaks, so they were looking at me when I made a couple of long putts and saying, ‘it’s going to be your day,’ and it really was.
“The end was a bit nervous, but there was nothing I could do. I was happy with my score and the way I performed and it was all about waiting and seeing what happened – I would have been happy with this week anyway, whatever happened, but to win is even more special.”Knappe’s playing partner Oscar Stark birdied 18 to join him in second place on 11 under par, with Smith two shots further back ahead of leading Frenchman Antoine Schwartz and Duncan Stewart on eight under par.