Golfer's marathon playoff victory boosts family funds

French golfer Raphael Jacquelin poses with the winner's trophy after a marathon playoff at the Open de Espana.

Story highlights

  • Raphael Jacquelin wins Spanish Open after record-equaling ninth playoff hole
  • Frenchman triumphs in three-way decider, which takes two hours to complete
  • He denies young German Maximilian Kieffer his first top-level victory
  • Chile's Felipe Aguilar bows out after the third hole of the playoff

Having played the same hole 10 times in one day, you'd think Raphael Jacquelin would be sick of the sight of the 18th at Valencia's Parador de El Saler.

But the French golfer was more relieved to have ended a two-year wait for a European Tour title, especially with a new member of the family on the way.

"That is very tiring but I am really, really happy," he said after winning a nine-hole playoff at the Spanish Open on Sunday, the equal longest decider in the tour's 41-year history.

The 38-year-old clinched his fourth European Tour win, and first since triumphing at the 2011 Sicilian Open, having been tied with Chile's Felipe Aguilar and Germany's Maximilian Kieffer after the 72 regulation holes.

Aguilar, also 38, bowed out at the third extra hole, and the other two matched each other par for par in the next five.

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Jacquelin finally broke the deadlock with a wedge to five feet, sinking the birdie putt to deny 22-year-old Kieffer his maiden top-level victory and claim the €250,000 ($327,000) first prize. It should lift the 146th-ranked player inside the top 100.

    "I could not make any putts (in the play-off) but the last one dropped, which means a lot for me and my family," Jacquelin said on the European Tour website after taking his career earnings past €9 million ($11.8 million).

    "There's another baby coming at the end of November; every time I get a baby, there's a win so I'll have a football team after a few years!"

    Scotland's Marc Warren had led for most of the final day, but four bogeys in his last five holes meant he finished in a tie for fourth -- one shot away from making the playoff as he was left to rue a three-putt at 18.

    Sergio Garcia tied for 12th at his national event, having flown from Augusta after finishing eighth at the Masters last Sunday.

    Miguel Angel Jimenez, playing his first tournament since breaking his leg in a skiing accident last year, missed the halfway cut along with former major champions Michael Campbell and Jose Maria Olazabal.