Michael Hoey returned a rollercoaster round to close out another solid week on tour, this time at the Trophee Hassan II in Rabat.
The Ballymoney professional fired six birdies in an eventful Sunday that also saw him post five bogeys and a double in a turbulent one-over par round of 74.
That saw Hoey sneak the best of the Irish title this week in a tie for 34th at plus-three and a cheque worth €18,500for the effort. It’s another feather in the cap of Hoey who’s been in sound form this season after claiming top-20 finishes in Australia, Kenya and Jordan already this year.
Meanwhile, Paul Dunne finished one shot back of Hoey after the Greystones grinder posted a magnificent seven birdies in a welcomed two-under par 71.
A tie for 38th at plus-four certainly wasn’t the result Dunne would have had in mind when setting about tackling the Royal Dar Es Salam layout but he jumped up 24 places for his final day flurry as his form of 2017 continues to edge ever closer. He collected a cheque worth €14,750 in an encouraging performance for the steady pro.
Unfortunately the news wasn’t so good for Dubliner, Gavin Moynihan who tumbled 42 places down the leaderboard into a tie for 63rd after a Sunday 82.
At the business end of affairs, Jorge Campillo ended an eight-year wait for his first European Tour title as he triumphed by two strokes.
The Spaniard, playing his 229th event, had previously been a runner-up on six occasions, including two second-place finishes in consecutive weeks last month, but held his nerve on the formidable Red Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam to claim the coveted bejeweled dagger.
The 32-year-old, who earned his European Tour card in 2011 after graduating from the European Challenge Tour, started the final round one stroke behind South African Erik van Rooyen, who was also chasing a first win on the European Tour.
Campillo fell off the pace with two bogeys on his first three holes, but pulled one back with a birdie on the eighth hole. He then moved back up the leaderboard with a birdie the 11th and claimed the outright lead with another gain on the 16th hole.
His fourth birdie of the day followed on the 17th and he took a two-stroke lead down the 72nd hole. He pulled his drive off the par-five 18th tee, finding a bunker, but he recovered and parred the final hole to finish on nine-under par two strokes ahead of van Rooyen and American pair Sean Crocker and Julian Suri.
“It’s hard to describe,” said an emotional winner. “It’s been a long road. Grateful, but it’s been way too long. Way too many hours of work since I was a boy to today. I’m just proud that I can say I’m a winner on The European Tour.
“I didn’t start as good as I would like, missing shots. I wasn’t hitting it good and I didn’t have my A-Game with me. But after making that four-metre putt on 7, it was a 10-footer on 7, and after that, I played solid I think. I putted great, and I did what I have to do to win the golf tournament. So after that, it was great. Tough start, but hung in there and had a good finish.
“I have had way too many near misses. This was my best chance to win. You know, I wasn’t this close ever, just have the lead on 18, so I have to grab it, and I was able to do it, so I’m proud of that.
“When I got to the golf course, I was a little nervous, but I was calm. I felt strong for some reason, and I don’t know, I think I don’t know why, but I feel — I was feeling strong coming the last few holes. So I wasn’t nervous at all.
“I just love the game. I love competing. Most people say, maybe I’m not a winner, but I was when I was an amateur. It was a matter of time. I think I proved it today. I love winning, I guess, and I finally did it, so I’m quite happy now. Hopefully I can win more from now.”
American David Lipsky finished solo fifth on five-under par, while Scotland’s Grant Forrest and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura shared sixth place.
Full Scoring HERE