10th February 2012 | Alps Tour Golf
O'Neal wins The Open Palmeraie PGP
American Tim O’Neal won the Open Palmeraie PGP 3 shots clear over Italian Matteo Delpodio. The 38 year old player from Savannah, Georgia did not show any sign of weakness and he fired 67 to increase his advantage and grab the Moroccan Trophy with a total of -16. England’s Jack Senior completed the podium with a final round of 71 for -9 total. Rookies Andrew Cooley from England as well and Scotland’s Ross Kellett tied fouth place.
The battle of the day was delayed this morning due to frozen greens. The night was clear and the temperature got down to -3°C (about 30°F). The leader at this moment admitted he was a little anxious.
“We had to wait because of the greens and I was a little nervous but once I started playing well as I holed the first birdy on the second hole, I felt more relax. I really play solid today, even more than during pas days. I only missed one green and dropped on shot on the 4th. After front nine, I had a look on the leaderboard. I like to know where I am. I saw one player -Delpodio- 2 strokes back so told myself that I had to hole more birdies.”
And he did right away on the 10th and 3 more until he teed off the last hole. Delpodio had finished with -13 so the American player could afford one or two mistakes. His fellows came to the last green to congratulate him and O’Neal finally smiled seeing and hearing the support. “A win is always important whatever the tournament and this one will fore sure give me confidence for 2012″.
Speaking of confidence, Italian Matteo Delpodio, 2010 Alps Tour winner, did a very good tournament and confessed his joy to recover this kind of feeling on a course.”Last year was tough. The key of my success in 2010 was patience. I lost this ability in 2011 and it cost me a lot. I recovered my swing last July and I work hard on my behaviour on course. Here, it is not true to say that I played with no pressure. Every body was expecting me to do a good result, a podium at least. I really enjoyed to play and I managed not to think about the results. For example, on the last tee, I did not look at the leaderboard so when I put I did not know if it was for a win or not. I put the best I could, I missed it but it was a great putt. I am very happy with my game and I am looking forward to start the season on the Challenge Tour.”
By Agathe Séron
At Palmeraie Golf Club