Cyprus Open: Callum Shinkwin wins maiden European Tour title

Callum Shinkwin produced an incredible finish to snatch a dramatic victory and maiden European Tour title at the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open.

The Englishman holed a 54-foot eagle on the final green to close a round-of-the-day 63 at Aphrodite Hills Resort and set the clubhouse target at 20 under, before birdieing the first extra hole to defeat Finland’s Kalle Samooja in a play-off.

Overnight co-leader Jamie Donaldson finished two strokes back in a share of third alongside Robert MacIntyre and Garrick Higgo, with Sami Valimaki a further stroke back after three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on his back nine.

Final leaderboard

Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open

Starting the day two strokes off the lead, Shinkwin took advantage of the par-five third and sixth before following back-to-back gains from the 10th with a birdie at the par-four 14th.

Shinkwin was still two holes behind Samooja with two holes to play, only to birdie the par-three 17th and then recover from finding the rough off the 18th tee to reach the green in two and hole a 54-footer for eagle to jump to 20 under.

Samooja, who followed a front-nine 33 with three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the 10th, needed to match Shinkwin’s eagle at the last to win in regulation but had to settle for a two-putt birdie after running his first effort five feet past.

The players returned to the 18th for the play-off, where Shinkwin got up and down from the greenside bunker to make birdie and Samooja missed a five-foot putt to extend the contest.

Valimaki, Australian Jason Scrivener and England’s Dale Whitnell ended the week in tied-sixth and on 17 under ahead of Adrian Saddier, with David Drysdale and Thomas Detry finishing five strokes back in tied-tenth.

Marcus Armitage briefly held a share of the lead during the final day, only to post back-to-back bogeys around the turn and double-bogey the last for a closing 70, dropping him into a share of 12th, while Andy Sullivan slipped down to tied-58th after a final-round 76.

The European Tour stays in Cyprus next week for the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, where the first two rounds are normal strokeplay before the scores are reset ahead of both the third and final rounds.

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