It was well worth the wait for Raphael Jacquelin – even if the playoff took nearly two hours.
The 38-year-old Frenchman defeated Maximilian Kiefer on the record-tying ninth playoff hole at the Open de Espana to win his fourth career European Tour title. Felipe Aguilar bowed out on the third extra hole.
It matched the longest playoff ever on the European Tour (1989 Dutch Open).
Over and over they played the 466-yard 18th hole at Parador de El Saler in Spain. The playoff seemed like it would end on the eighth extra hole, after Kiefer, a European Tour rookie, missed a 20-foot birdie bid. The 22-year-old German removed his cap, almost certain that Jacquelin would make his 7-footer for the win. He missed.
Then, finally, on the ninth hole, Kiefer sailed his approach about 25 feet long, while Jacquelin stuck his wedge shot about 5 feet above the hole and sank the putt.
“That is very tiring, but I am really, really happy,” Jacquelin told the European Tour. “I could not make any putts (in the playoff) but the last one dropped, which means a lot for me and my family.”
The marathon overshadowed what for a while looked like a certain victory for Marc Warren (76), but the Scot bogeyed four of the last five holes to finish one shot out of the playoff, which came at 5-under 283.