Alejandro Canizares ended an eight-year wait for a European title when cruising to a five shot win in the Trophee Hassan II in Agadir on Sunday.
The Spaniard, whose last victory was in the 2006 Russian Open, led from the start after a first round 62 and wrapped up the victory with a closing round of 70 to finish with a 19-under par total of 269.
England’s Andy Sullivan produced a best of the day round of 63 to claim second place, with Swede Magnus Carlsson signing for a 68 to finish two shots adrift to tie for third with England’s Seve Benson, who birdied the last.
Carlsson was helped by holing from off the green on the 18th after engineering a left-handed escape shot from the trees.
As for Canizares, he ended with a double bogey six after his approach rolled off the green and came to a stop beside a badly replaced divot.
The world No. 141 was told by a referee he was not allowed to move the turf and could only advance the ball a few yards with his third shot before it again rolled back down the slope, almost to his feet.
From there he duffed his next pitch before getting up and down to seal victory.
“It’s been a long time since the last win,” he said.
“It felt like it was never coming, but this week I played great, some of the best golf of my career. I hit good shot after good shot and kept my focus,” he said. “I was very accurate and solid with my irons. I left myself lots of chances and although I did not make all of them, the first day was the key... Hopefully, this is the first step for a little bit of improvement in my career.”
For the 31-year-old Canizares, this success ended a 199-event losing streak after claiming the Russian Open eight years ago in only his third-ever tournament.