Lee Slattery won the 2011 Madrid Masters by one shot. Here, in an excerpt from The European Tour Yearbook 2012, we recap how the Englishman captured his maiden European Tour title despite a nervy finish.
If anyone knows about the vagaries of professional golf it is Lee Slattery, which is perhaps why the Englishman’s victory in the Bankia Madrid Masters was so well received across the game.
The affable 33 year old is one of the most popular figures on the circuit and everyone felt for him when he lost his playing privileges at the end of the 2007 season by a mere €77 and again by only 16 places at the culmination of 2009.
To his credit, however, he bounced back on both occasions, coming through the Qualifying School Final Stage in 2007 and the Challenge Tour Rankings last season before finally getting his European Tour reward at the end of a dramatic afternoon at El Encín Golf Hotel.
Having assumed the lead at the halfway stage, Slattery took a two shot advantage into the final round but an uncertain start allowed Argentina’s Cesar Monasterio and Lorenzo Gagli of Italy to seize the initiative. The Englishman regained control with four birdies in five holes from the 11th and at three shots clear with three holes to play looked home and dry. However, the drama was not over.
On the par five 18th, Slattery’s second shot drifted into sand from where his escape attempt flew into the water to the right of the putting surface. A penalty shot later, his chip found the green from where he two putted from ten feet for a double bogey seven, good enough to give him a one shot winning aggregate over Gagli.
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