21 Mar, 2012 @ 15:06
1 min read

French victory at the Andalucia Open

FRENCHMAN Julien Quesne equalled the course record to win the Andalucia Open at Aloha Golf Club.

The 31-year-old, ranked 322 in the world, shot an impressive 64 to win his first European Tour title by two strokes.

Quesne had begun the final day three shots off the lead, but finished strongly with a run of four birdies in five holes to finish 17 under par.

“I think it’s the best day of my life. I know I will have some good weeks this year but I’m very happy to win this early. I’ll remember this day all of my life,” said Quesne, who was showered with Champagne by his French compatriots following his win.

Italian teenager Matteo Manassero finished second following a final round 68, ahead of Spaniard Eduardo de la Riva who was a further two shots back.

Riva, a 29-year-old from Barcelona, was ranked a lowly 610 in the world rankings going into the tournament and is not even a member of the tour circuit. Meanwhile, local favourite Miguel Angel Jimenez had started the tournament hoping to become the European Tour’s oldest ever winner.

The Ryder Cup star, who turned 48 in January, would have beaten record holder Des Smyth by 39 days if he had claimed the title on Sunday.

But rather than winning, Jimenez’s duel role as tournament organiser instead required him to dip into his own pocket to help stump up the one million euro prize money.

Jimenez eventually finished joint seventh after a final round 71, along with Englishman Mark Foster, Irishman Shane Lowry and Russian Jaco Van Zyl.

The highest ranked Briton was David Lynn who finished fourth with a final round 69 to claim 50,000 euros in prize money.

Other Brits to finish in the top 20 were Simon Khan (tied 11th), Graeme Storm (16th) and Robert Rock (tied 17th).

But there was disappointment for Britons Anthony Wall and Lloyd Kennedy, who slipped away after promising first round scores had put them firmly in contention.

Wall eventually finished six under par along with fellow Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Oliver Wilson, while Kennedy finished three under.

It was also a tournament to forget for Ryder Cup-winning captain Colin Montgomerie, who failed to make the halfway cut having shot first and second round scores of 73 and 76 to finish five over par.

The tournament is now in its sixth year having been played at a number of different venues throughout Andalucia since 2007.

Lee Westwood claimed the first ever title, also staged at Aloha, while last year saw Scot Paul Lawrie pick up one million euros in prize money at Parador de Malaga Golf.

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