Friday, 19 March 2010
Estoril Open de Portugal - Round Four  (Getty Images)
Estoril Open de Portugal - Round Four (Getty Images)

Michael Hoey secured his maiden win on The European Tour as he admirably saw off Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño in a play-off to capture the Estoril Open de Portugal.

Hoey kept his nerve on the third extra hole to knock in a six footer for par following Fernandez-Castaño`s bogey at the 474 yard par four 17th that also ended the Spaniard's 100 per cent play-off record.

Earlier, the Northern Irish golfer produced one of the rounds of his life to surge to the top of the leaderboard with a classy five under par 66 at Oitavos Dunes - having started the day five shots off the lead down in 19th place.

Fernandez-Castaño and Hoey forced a play-off after finishing on seven under par, with the Spaniard carding a solid bogey-free 67.

In a protracted play-off both players twice parred the 473 yard par four 18th before switching to the 17th.

The pair then both found the edge of the 17th green in two before Hoey holed a par putt that clinched his first ever win on The European Tour.

Click here to listen to winner Michael Hoey's interview with Nick Dye

“I didn`t really think about winning but I had all the breaks and it really was my day,” said the jubilant 30 year old.

“It`s totally a life changing moment, its amazing really. If I can keep this mentality going its definitely the way forward.

“Its not going to sink in yet. It`s a bit of a dream that I will cherish for a long time, and I`d just like to thank all those people who have supported me over the years.”

Hoey, a three time winner on the European Challenge Tour, graduated from The European Tour Qualifying School last November and is a stablemate of Ross Fisher and Graeme McDowell, themselves both European Tour champions.

Lower down the leaderboard it was also a dramatic day of varied scoring.

Francesco Molinari was one of the biggest movers as he carded a solid 68 to take outright third. The Italian fired a three under par 68 - including four birdies - to move up from a starting position of tied for 11th.

Mikael Lundberg, Paul Broadhurst and Jamie Donaldson all differed in their respective rounds but ended tied for fourth on five under par.

Defending champion Grégory Bourdy put up a stern showing as he carded a final round two under par 69 to finish tied for ninth along with Maarten Lafeber, Steve Webster, David Lynn and Alastair Forsyth.

Further down the leaderboard were nine golfers who captured a share of 13th place.

Of that grouping, Rafa Echenique`s sublime 66 was undoubtedly the highlight.

Click here to listen to winner Michael Hoey's interview with Nick Dye

Click here to listen to interviews from the Estoril Open de Portugal


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1HOEY, MichaelNIR18-7
3MOLINARI, FrancescoITA18-6
R2D Fantasy

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