Quesne earns first European Tour victory in Andalucia|
Andalucia, Spain (Sports Network) - Julien Quesne birdied four of his final
five holes Sunday to break away from the field and earn the victory at the
Open de Andalucia.
The decisive run, which also included a key par save at the 17th, finished an
eight-under 64 and allowed the Frenchman to take his first European Tour win.
He was doused in champagne by fellow French golfers, a wild celebration to
commemorate the victory.
"I think it was the best shower of my life," Quesne said.
Quesne's round matched the course record and sent him into the clubhouse at
17-under-par 271. He then held on for a two-stroke victory, as neither Matteo
Manassero nor Eduardo de la Riva could catch up.
Manassero carded a 68 and finished in second at 15-under 273. He had fired a
64 on Thursday to grab the first-round lead.
De la Riva, who sat in first place after the second and third rounds, couldn't
come up with the same amount of birdies down the stretch as Quesne. He bogeyed
the last to end with a 70, and took third at minus-14.
Nearing the end of Sunday's round there was a logjam near the top of the
leaderboard, where more than half a dozen players were challenging for the
lead. Quesne, Manassero and de la Riva were all in first at 13-under and on
their back nines.
Quesne, 31, was first to come through and essentially kicked off a game of
At the par-four 14th, he rolled in a 12-footer for birdie from the edge of the
green, then sank an even longer birdie try at the 15th. The putt just tipped
into the cup and put him at 15-under.
Behind him on the course, Manassero and de la Riva stayed close with birdies
at the 13th. Manassero sank a speedy putt of about 25 feet to move to 14-under
while de la Riva followed in the next pairing and drained a slightly downhill
Hennie Otto briefly joined them at minus-14 with a birdie at 14, but he
bogeyed two of his final four holes to fall out of contention. And with the
way Quesne was playing, even pars weren't good enough to get the win.
Quesne set himself up for an eagle putt at the par-five 16th and nearly got it
in the hole, but his tap-in for birdie still lowered his score to 16-under.
Manassero, on the other hand, put himself in tough positions for birdies. He
needed to make a putt from just off the green at the 14th and was forced to
blast out of a greenside bunker at the 15th. The Italian teenager nearly made
both shots, but saved par each time to stay at minus-14.
De la Riva managed a birdie at the 14th to move to 15-under. That put pressure
on Quesne, especially because the leader found the rough with his tee shot at
the par-three 17th.
But after recovering for par, Quesne knocked his approach at the 18th within
six feet and converted the birdie to close his round. The brilliant final
round was his best of the season for the two-time Challenge Tour winner.
"I was very nervous on the last putt, but most of the time I stayed calm, just
because I played shot after shot," Quesne said.
As he sat in a small tent watching the tournament, Manassero and de la Riva
were still on the course and there was still plenty of opportunity for
suspense. But neither provided it.
After a birdie at 16, Manassero parred his final two holes. De la Riva parred
three in a row before teeing off at the 18th, needing to hole his second shot
to force a playoff. Not only did he not get the eagle, he missed his par putt
to fall into third.
David Lynn (69) came in fourth at 13-under, while Raphael Jacquelin (69) and
Otto (70) shared fifth at minus-12.
NOTES: Quesne pocketed 166,660 euros for the victory...Simon Khan, who entered
Sunday one shot behind de la Riva, stumbled to a 73 and ended in a tie for
11th and 10-under...Quesne's victory is his first on the European Tour, and
made him the 400th different winner on the European Tour...Quesne's previous
best finish of 2012 was a tie for 17th at the Avantha Masters...The European
Tour heads to Morocco next week for the Trophee Hassan II, where David Horsey
won last year.
03/18 14:02:49 ET