Nacho Elvira defeated Justin Harding at the first playoff hole to claim his maiden European Tour title at Celtic Manor.
Nacho Elvira Wins Enthralling Cazoo Open
Elvira had started the day with a comfortable six-shot lead. However, at the final hole, he would three-putt from 18-foot to fall into a playoff with Harding.
It seemed that the Spaniard had settled his nerves with only four holes remaining as he hit a stunning tee shot at the driveable par-4 15th, leading to a birdie, before a clutch two at the par-3 17th put him one shot ahead.
Finding the green with his third, he would only need to two-putt to claim his first European Tour win in 195 starts, but he raced the birdie putt by and missed the par putt coming back.
There would be redemption for Elvira though as he made a par at the first playoff hole to finally get over the winning line.
Speaking after his round, the Spaniard said: “I’m speechless right now to be honest. I thought I had it pretty much all under control and I just got nervous over the last couple of putts on the regular 18. I was more calm in the playoff than I was in the 18.
“It’s a shame to see someone miss a putt. I image that’s how they felt when they saw me miss it, but I can’t believe I’ve won.”
After rounds of 64, 67 and 66, the 34-year-old sat safely ahead of a number of players.
But an opening bogey was followed by another at the 5th, with the Spaniard’s inconsistencies eventually leading to a level-par front nine.
As he continued to struggle, Finland’s Mikko Korhonen was mounting a charge with six birdies in 15 holes putting him at 16-under-par for the tournament.
The Finn was soon joined by 35-year-old Harding, who was also enjoying a good day around the 2010 course.
Harding, who had also made six birdies in 15 holes, drew level with Korhonen at 16-under-par.
As the the closing stages drew nearer and nearer, Elvira, who by now was at one-over-par for his round, reacted brilliantly, sticking his drive on the short 15th to under 20-foot.
Although he missed the eagle putt, the birdie seemed to reignite the Spaniard, with his birdie putt on the 17th sparking a strong fist pump and a one shot lead going down the last.
Having only made five cuts in 15 starts this season, Elvira found the green in three, with 18-foot left for victory.
But, in dramatic fashion, he would three-putt, dropping himself into a playoff with Harding.
In the playoff, the Spaniard redeemed himself, by parring the par-5 and claiming his first win in 195 starts.
“It feels like all the hard work has paid off a little bit, we still have to keep working to keep getting into these positions,” said Elvira.