Estevez's birdie barrage earns TLA win in Colombia
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Few can withstand a birdie-barrage like the one unleashed by Joaquin Estevez of Argentina at this weekend's Challenge Tour event in Colombia.
He birdied the last four holes of regulation play and capped it off with another on the first playoff hole to win the Abierto International Copa Antioquia in Medellin.
His stellar finish at Club Campestre was too much for Frenchman Charles Russo, who wobbled on the back nine of the final round but birdied the 72nd hole to draw level with Estevez at ten-under-par 274.
Starting the final day at six under and four shots off the lead, Estevez fell further behind with a bogey on the sixth. But a birdie on the 12th set up his rally and he carded a back nine 30 en route to a final round 67.
Russo narrowly missed out on a European Tour card last season when he finished just outside the top 20 in the Challenge Tour Rankings in 24th place and his hopes of an early-season victory were dashed at the first playoff hole.
Victory in the event, co-sanctioned with the Tour de las Americas, earned Estevez €26,274 and vaulted him to the top of the Challenge Tour Rankings. England’s Matt Ford is now second, while Russo moves into third place after picking up the runner-up cheque of €18,063.
Will Wilcox of the United States had been the man to catch after three rounds, but his hopes of victory ended with three bogeys on the back nine. He finished in a tie for fourth with Germany’s Nicolas Meitinger at eight under par. Wilcox carded a 73 to Meitinger’s 71.