Cabrera Bello stunned even himself

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Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello is not going to forget his stunning first European Tour victory, however many more follow.

Spain’s Rafael Cabrera Bello is not going to forget his stunning, first European Tour victory, however many more follow.
Nor will he ever forget that staggering, one-in-a-million 60!
Eight shots behind entering the final round of the Austrian Open at the Fontana Golf Club in Vienna, the 25-year-old became only the 13th player to score 60 on the European Tour and more importantly, with it, reeled in and beat England’s luckless overnight leader Benn Barham by one.
The biggest comeback of the Tour season was also only the third time in its history that someone had taken a title with a closing 60, Ian Woosnam and Jamie Spence being the others to do it in 1990 and 1992 respectively.
But still nobody has achieved a 59 – and Cabrera Bello’s name is now on the list of those who stood on the final green with a chance.
A 30-foot eagle putt would have given him the magic mark, although he insisted afterwards that he was not thinking about it.
“I knew if I birdied the last three I’d do it, but on the 17th I just wanted to make par (he sank a 14-footer after finding sand) and forgot about it,” said the Canary Islander, who, as a 17-year-old amateur, finished fourth in the 2002 Spanish Open.
“To win is just amazing – I played the best golf of my life and I can’t believe it.
“I was so far back (after 54 holes) I wasn’t thinking about winning. I just tried to play a shot at a time and today it worked out really, really good.”
He had missed eight of his last 10 halfway cuts, but suddenly everything clicked and 11 birdies in one round was only one short of the Tour record.
Barham had been three clear when he resumed, but in covering the first 10 holes in one-over opened the door for some one to have a run at him.
Needing to win to secure his Tour card for next year, the 33-year-old from Kent did birdie the 11th, 12th and 16th to keep his hopes alive and a play-off looked odds-on with the reachable par five 18th to come.
Here, unfortunately, the pressure got to him. He drove in the rough, had to lay up and missed his 18-foot birdie attempt.
“I’m happy with how I played all week, but disappointed to finish second,” said Barham.
“To lose by one to someone shooting 60 on the last day is hard to take, to be honest.”
For the second week running Dane Soren Hansen finished third.
“I thought if I stayed ahead of Soren I’d be fine,” added Barham. “But I’ve got lots to be proud of. I was at a stage a few weeks ago where I didn’t know where my next good result was coming from.
“I was stuck in a rut, so this really gives me confidence for the coming weeks.”
He is up from 175th to 126th on the standings, but only the top 115 at the end of the season in November will retain membership – and for those who don’t, it will mean heading back to Qualifying School.
ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 71):

264 Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 71 67 66 60
265 Benn Barham 63 66 67 69
267 Soren Hansen (Den) 67 67 65 68
269 Richard Bland 68 70 65 66
270 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 69 67 65 69
271 Richard Green (Aus) 65 66 69 71, Pablo Martin (Spa) 66 68 70 67, Simon Wakefield 68 70 67 66, Seve Benson 69 68 68 66
272 Damien McGrane 71 67 67 67, David Dixon 68 67 71 66, David Horsey 67 67 71 67, Pelle Edberg (Swe) 68 65 71 68
273 Brett Rumford (Aus) 64 71 68 70, Gary Murphy 68 67 72 66, Alex Cejka (Ger) 69 68 71 65
274 Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 65 70 69 70, Chris Gaunt (Aus) 66 67 72 69, Joost Luiten (Ned) 67 67 76 64, Markus Brier (Aut) 68 67 69 70
275 David Drysdale 69 68 67 71, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 66 69 70 70, Patrik Sjoland (Swe) 69 68 69 69, Marc Warren 68 68 71 68, Martin Erlandsson (Swe) 67 68 73 67
276 Marco Ruiz (Par) 70 68 70 68, Scott Drummond 64 68 72 72, David Lynn 67 68 72 69, Bradley Dredge 72 64 70 70
277 Alvaro Velasco (Spa) 66 74 69 68, Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 67 68 72 70, David Howell 69 69 66 73, Mads Vibe-Hastrup (Den) 69 70 68 70, Phillip Archer 65 71 75 66, Inder Van Weerelt (Ned) 72 66 68 71, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 71 68 69 69, Mark Foster 65 68 75 69, Ross McGowan 67 70 74 66
278 Matthew Cort 68 68 69 73, Klas Eriksson (Swe) 69 69 70 70, Steven O’Hara 69 71 74 64, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 67 71 70 70, Gary Lockerbie 68 71 71 68, Stephen Dodd 71 68 71 68, Paul Lawrie 68 70 71 69, Jean-Francois Lucquin (Fra) 70 69 71 68, Gregory Havret (Fra) 69 67 72 70, Thomas Levet (Fra) 68 70 70 70
279 Wil Besseling (Ned) 68 67 74 70, Alan McLean 72 67 72 68, Maarten Lafeber (Ned) 70 67 70 72, Marc Cayeux (Zim) 71 67 70 71
280 Callum Macaulay 66 74 68 72
281 Alexandre Rocha (Bra) 70 70 74 67, Richie Ramsay 72 68 72 69, Rafael Echenique (Arg) 69 70 71 71
282 Iain Pyman 70 65 71 76, Lee Slattery 67 73 70 72
283 Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) 71 69 69 74
284 Sam Walker 72 68 71 73
285 Alessandro Tadini (Ita) 68 70 72 75
286 Birgir Hafthorsson (Ice) 73 66 73 74, Cesar Monasterio (Arg) 71 68 73 74
287 Ulrich Van Den Berg (Rsa) 72 68 72 75
288 Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 68 70 73 77
295 Lukas Nemecz (Aut) 71 68 82 74

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