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Moscatel seals fairytale win in home country

Moscatel seals fairytale win in home country

Joel Moscatel birdied the closing hole of the Challenge de España at Real Club Sevilla Golf to seal a fairytale victory on home soil.

Joel Moscatel (8)

The Spaniard signed for an impressive five under par final round of 67 to go with rounds of 68-71-68 and reach 14 under par for the week, one stroke clear of Finn Tapio Pulkkanen and Dane Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen on a dramatic day in Andalucía.

The 25-year-old was delighted to secure a maiden Challenge Tour victory in his home country, a result that sees him climb 26 places to third in the season-long Road to Mallorca Rankings.

“I don’t have words to be honest,” he said. “I played really well and I’m so happy. The home crowd were amazing, really supportive and I was feeling great all the way around.

“At the beginning the putts weren’t dropping but we were patient and stayed focused.

“There’s a lot of tournaments to play yet this year but obviously this win helps a lot. In Abu Dhabi I came close to winning, but I didn’t have the help of Alberto (Calvo) caddying for me, so maybe that was the difference. This is just amazing.”

Moscatel started the day three strokes behind overnight leader Pulkkanen but closed the gap with a birdie on the opening hole. Further gains came at the ninth, 11th and 13th before a fifth birdie of the day at the 16th hole saw him move into the lead for the first time.

The Spaniard’s only blemish came at the 17th, but he responded with a stunning approach on the 18th before tapping in for birdie to make sure of a memorable win.

“I didn’t know if the putt on 18 was for the win to be honest,” he added. “I knew I had a chance but I thought it would go to a playoff.

“I was so nervous that I couldn’t think, so I just said ‘ok, make this putt’ and that was it.

“The crowd helped for definite. I was feeling the energy out there. I don’t know why, but today with the crowds I felt more comfortable than yesterday and maybe that helped me.”

Englishman Jamie Rutherford ended the week two strokes off the lead in fourth place, with Spaniard Alfredo Garcia-Heredia and South African Robin Williams one shot further back in fifth.

Frenchman Felix Mory finished in seventh on ten under par, with Gregorio de Leo in eighth on nine under.

Neergaard-Petersen extends his lead at the top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings on 954 points, 453 points clear of Frenchman Alexander Levy who remains in second place. Moscatel’s victory sees him climb into third place on 482 points, with Swede Mikael Lindberg (461 points) and Englishman John Parry (442 points) rounding out the top five.

The Road to Mallorca takes a short break before returning for the Danish Golf Challenge from May 23-26.

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