Portugal’s Miguel Gaspar finally realised his ambition of winning a tournament on The Portugal Pro Golf Tour after a tense play-off against Craig Lawrie at Onyria Palmares.
Gaspar scored a 5 under par first round to hold a 2-shot lead over Lawrie, Paul McBride, Gian-Marco Petrozzi and the veteran Portuguese legend Antonio Sobrinho.
Lawrie started of like a train birdying the first 2 holes to catch Gaspar, who started with 2 steady pars but soon re-took the lead with consecutive birdies on holes 6 and 7, whilst Lawrie bogeyed 6 but matched Gaspar’s birdie on the seventh.
So, the lead was back to 2 shots until Lawrie birdied both the ninth and tenth to draw level again in this nip and tuck dual.
The pair then traded pars until the sixteenth, when Lawrie seemingly threw it away with a double bogey giving Gaspar a two-shot lead with 2 to play.
With it seemingly all over, Lawrie showed the same grit and determination as his dad showed in winning the 1999 Open, and birdied the last two holes to force the play-off.
The first extra hole was halved in regulation pars and so it was on to the second extra hole, which is the first at Onyria Palmares, and both players hit good tee shots leaving a short iron into the green.
Lawrie was first to play and unfortunately leaked his shot right of the green leaving him an impossible chip shot to a lightning fast green sloping away from him.
Gaspar drew inspiration from Lawrie’s error and hit his second to around 5 feet from the pin but again, he was above the hole.
Lawrie chipped and as expected his ball ran off the green on the other side but to his credit, he almost holed his return shot.
And so, Gaspar had 2 putts to win from 5 feet or so, simple you may think but a rush of blood sent his ball as far past again.
Gathering his composure Gaspar calmly stroked the ball into the hole for a very deserved win and a winners cheque for 2,000,00€
Interest is rapidly growing in the Tour Championship at Troia in March, with Five Challenge Tour starts up for grabs it would be wise to enter as soon as possible as the field is limited to 75 players.