3rd May 2013 | Alps Tour Golf

Etchart masters wind for Rebetz win


Spain’s Borja Etchart hailed the mental side of his game in gusting winds as he shot a final-round four-under-par 69 to win the Open International de Rebetz by two strokes on Friday.

Etchart exchanged the lead with Ireland’s Stephen Grant (71) during the front nine, but as the wind picked up on the back nine he streaked clear of the eventual runner-up with five birdies in seven holes for a 54-hole total of 14-under to clinch his first Alps Tour title.

Overnight leader Jesus Legarrea (78) began his day with a nightmare double-bogey on the par-five first after his drive found the trees and rolled into a hole, however there was little the field could do to keep up with the relentless Etchart, who began the back nine with three straight birdies and hit the shot of the day at the par-three 16th for a tap-in two.

“It’s been a special week because for two years my results haven’t been great and I was thinking about leaving the game,” said Etchart, who added that changing his tournament mentality was the key to victory.

“I’ve always played badly on the first day and then missed the cut as a result. So now I try not to play against my partners, I’ve taken more of a matchplay approach or hole-by-hole.”

Etchart’s putter was hot all week, unlike former professional footballer Grant, who broke the course record in the second round but was still left frustrated with his performance on the greens.

“I made nothing today and I missed twice from one metre. I literally made one putt outside three metres all three rounds. So other than that it’s pretty good,” said Grant, who has worked with Butch Harmon’s son Claude to improve his game.

“I’ve always known I’ve got to improve my putting. Hopefully I’ll get a hot week soon,” he added.

Spaniard Legarrea began the day two shots ahead of Etchart and Grant but his lead vanished after the first hole when he found his drive in a hole not far from the tee, was forced to take a penalty drop and then missed a bogey putt of two metres.

The friend of twice Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal said the round was difficult from that point onwards, where he hoped for a free drop from the hole but was not given one by the referee.

“That hurt,” said Legarrea after finishing in a share of 11th place, ” but I played badly today anyway,” added the 26-year-old.

Germany’s Tomek Dogil fired a 69 to finish alone in third while France’s Julien Gressier (70) and Scotland’s Kris Nicol, whose 67 was the joint round of the day, tied fourth.

From Rebetz
Tom Pilcher

Golfmanager Press Agency


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