Friday, 19 March 2010
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano  (Getty Images)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Getty Images)

Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño won the Quinn Insurance British Masters at The Belfry after a thrilling play-off with Lee Westwood.

The Spaniard started the final round three shots behind the defending champion but a brilliant final round 67, which did not contain a single bogey, took him level with the Worksop player on a 12 under par total of 276.

Westwood was level with Michael Campbell after finishing off their third rounds first thing in the morning - Campbell shot 65, Westwood 68 - but the British star then moved three clear.

However, at the 457 yard ninth his approach from the rough ended up right on the edge of the lake and while he bogeyed Campbell made a seven foot putt for birdie.

Westwood, looking to win this title for the second year running to close in on Padraig Harrington at the top of The European Order of Merit, made the perfect start when he birdied the first.

He bogeyed the par four fourth but fought back strongly with birdies at he sixth and then the par three seventh, where he holed a difficult uphill putt.

Fernández-Castaño was two under for his round, with back to back birdies at the fourth and fifth propelling him to within striking distance of his playing partners.

The Madrid golfer birdied the tenth and chipped in at the 12th to rescue par after finding the water before another birdie at the 13th took him level with Westwood, who had driven the green at the par four tenth before three putting.

Campbell was still in the hunt - a two at the par three 14th taking him back to ten under.

The leading trio - playing as a threeball to make up for time lost to fog on Friday and Saturday morning - all birdied the 15th and there was no quarter being given or asked.

Campbell bogeyed the 413 yard 16th and with two holes to play it seemed to be a two horse race.

But the New Zealander birdied the par five penultimate hole and when Westwood and Fernández-Castaño missed their birdie efforts there was a single shot separating the three players as they approached the difficult par four 18th.

Fernández-Castaño drove into a fairway bunker, Westwood nailed the fairway and Campbell landed in semi-rough.

When Westwood found the back level of the green where the pin was located he looked a clear favourite, especially when both his opponents landed in thick rough.

Campbell could only make bogey, but the young Spaniard made a superb up and down to force a play-off, a record equalling 14th on The European Tour this season.

Both men found the fairway, although Westwood covered considerably more ground.

But Fernández-Castaño produced a remarkable five wood shot to within ten feet, while Westwood was in light rough 20 feet from the hole.

But Westwood made a brave par putt from eight feet to keep the play-off alive and the pair returned to the 18th tee for a third attempt to find a winner.

Both men found familiar territory with their approaches - Westwood the light rough by the green and Fernández-Castaño the thick stuff further to the left.

This time it was the player 105th on The European Order of Merit who displayed nerves of steel to hole from eight feet after Westwood had chipped to within inches.

That left them facing a fourth crack at the 18th in rapidly fading light.

And when Westwood bogeyed the 473 yard hole - despite an enormous drive, he shanked an eight iron into the rough - the Spaniard took full advantage to earn his fourth European Tour title and biggest payday so far.

"I have to say it's probably the best victory of the four," said Fernández-Castaño, wearing a towel after ending up in the water following the win.

"I have to make a special mention to my wife, who really supported me during this long year.

"I'm really happy, and of course my main goal what I was doing was to get into the last Volvo Masters in Valderrama, and I think I've done that.  So I can't ask for any better than that."

"I just struggled with my swing all day and didn’t feel under control at any point," said Westwood afterwards.

"I was pleased to be in a play-off as I felt I really hung in there. 28 holes today was no excuse.

"I just couldn’t feel my swing. I hit a lot of poor iron shots and when Gonzo chipped in on the par three 12th I think the writing was on the wall."

Campbell said: "Unfortunately the first nine the putter was cold on me.

"I came back strong on the back nine and came close but it wasn't good enough."

Get Adobe Flash player

Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1WESTWOOD, LeeENG18-12
T1FDEZ-CASTAÑO, GonzaloESP18-12
3CAMPBELL, MichaelNZL18-10
4LUNDBERG, MikaelSWE18-8
T5SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-6
T5SINGH, Jeev MilkhaIND18-6
R2D Fantasy

European Tour Partners

  • BMW
  • Emirates
  • UPS
  • Rolex
  • Rolex

European Tour Sponsors

  • Club Car

    Media Centre

    Official Partner

    Official Suppliers

    This website is © The PGA European Tour 1997 - 2014. PGA European Tour, Wentworth Drive, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 4LX. Registered in England No. 1867610.
    All rights reserved. No reproduction, distribution or transmission of any information, part or parts of this website by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of the PGA European Tour.