Hanson wins Mallorca play-off

European Tour

Swede Peter Hanson beat Spain’s Alejandro Canizares in a play-off to win his third European Tour title in Mallorca on Sunday.

Swede Peter Hanson beat Spain’s Alejandro Canizares in a play-off to win his third European Tour title in Mallorca on Sunday.
This in the European Tour’s Iberdrola Open Cala Millor at the Pula Golf Club where he shrugged away what might have been a critical one-stroke penalty imposed for a ‘double hit’, picked up two late birdies for a closing four-under 66 that matched Canizares 6-under total and forced a sudden death play-off which he went on to win at the first extra hole
Only a slow motion television camera caught the fact that Hanson clipped his chip on the 12th a second time.
After being told about the penalty by the Tour’s chief referee, John Paramor, two holes later, the 32-year-old Hanson quickly fell two behind with four to play.
But birdie putts of 12 and 30 feet at the 15th and 17th brought him level again, and when he saved par from a bunker at the last the sudden-death play-off was on.
And when Canizares failed to get up and down from the same trap on the first extra hole, It was allm over. Hanson waqs the new champion.,
The pair had both been two behind at the start of the final round of the Iberdrola Open at the Pula Golf Club, but while leaders Pelle Edberg and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano slumped to four over par 74s the front runners each shot a 66.
It gave them six under totals of 274, four clear of South African James Kingston, who finished third on his own when Edberg double-bogeyed the short 18th.
Hanson’s third European Tour victory will not be forgotten by him in a hurry.
This if only because he was penalised for a double hit while making a chip at the 12th green in his closing 66, something which came to light only when a slow motion replay was shown on television.
The 32-year-old knew nothing about it until spoken to two holes later by Tour chief referee John Paramor where he promptly hit his very next shot into an unplayable position in a bush – and saw his title hopes nosedive.
However, Hanson made a 25-footer for bogey there and, from a position of two behind, sank birdie putts of 12 and 30 feet at the 15th and 17th.
He then got up and down from a bunker at the last to tie and Canizares, son of former Ryder Cup player Jose Maria, could not do the same after going into the same trap at the start of sudden death.
“It feels absolutely fantastic after all that happened there,” stated Hanson.
He was shown the incident on the completion of his round and commented: “It looks strange, but of course it was a double hit. The ball went down and then I hit it again (in his follow-through).
“It feels absolutely fantastic after all that happened there,” stated Hanson.
He was shown the incident on the completion of his round and commented: “It looks strange, but of course it was a double hit. The ball went down and then I hit it again.
“Sometimes it’s good to have these fantastic cameras and sometimes it’s bad – but it was fair.”
Making a 25-foot bogey putt atb the potentially disastrous 14th was crucial to Hanson’s morale, but the one on the 17th was the real winner, the ball hitting the back of the cup at speed, jumping up high and landing on the back lip before toppling in.
Victory could lift Hanson back into the world’s top 50 and if he is still there next Monday it will save him from having to qualify for the US Open. Last year he holed-in-one in a play-off to make it through.
Canizares, the 27-year-old son of former Ryder Cup player Jose Maria, was trying for his second Tour title, but last November had to go back to the qualifying school to regain his card.
He finished joint fourth there and has now has had three successive top-10 finishes.
Edberg’s day started and finished with a double bogey, his opening drive going out of bounds, while Fernandez-Castano’s putting problems persisted when he missed four-foot par putts on the eighth, ninth and 11th.
Bristol’s Chris Wood, who was never able to get back in touch after finding the water on the fifth and ninth, finished in a tie for seventh spot.

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